Late summer and early fall is a great time to fish The Gulf Coast as little pressure presents itself with endless opportunities and willing fish when you can dodge some rain and see through the tannic water on the gulf coast.
With some big storms that have passed much of the water is flushing out of the Everglades and all of the Gulf Coast and bringing down the water temperature. Smaller tarpon around in abundance, with this darker water gurglers and other top water flies are the ticket, they are always willing to take subsurface flies as well. I always lean towards the incoming cooler water for these fish.
Snook are still in the bigger water, beaches and inlets, blind casting chartreuse or white will generate strikes with some work big fish are mixed in there and willing to eat.
The cooler water temps will spark the spawn of our big ocean dwelling Redfish that will school up and tail on our larger flats on low-incoming tides. Still a lot of adult tarpon making their way south hanging on open flats, with stained water visibly is difficult where early mornings and late afternoons will be the good to see these fish rolling on the surface and will generally take any well presented fly. I like to fish early this time of year to beat the heat and possibilities of afternoon showers.
We will be on the lookout for the Gulf to explode with large bait balls with Bonita following close behind as well as big schools of large Jack Crevelle.
Baby Tarpon-HB Hopper (gurgler)
Snook-EP style baitfish (Chartreuse/white)
Redfish-Shrimp or crab imitations (olive or root beer)
Adult Tarpon-Dark Colored Tarpon Bunny for laid up or smaller shrimp pattern in cleaner water and rolling fish
Fishing with 9wts all day can suffice anything unless you run into the big boys it’s good to stick with the 8wt and switching out to the 10wt when the opportunity arises