September is upon us and with its arrival marks the start of the fall fishing season here in Tampa Bay! While you’re starting to decorate your house with pumpkins and drinking your pumpkin spice lattes, the ocean has started decorating, too… with Pumpkin Patches!
“Pumpkin Patches” refer to the large schools of Redfish that start to gather this time of year. They are called this because of how orange they make the water look in one area, just like a big pumpkin patch! Fall is the best time of year to catch these elusive fish because as the water temperature starts to drop, they move to shallower waters such as in the flats, mangroves, and up the rivers to spawn. They often school together according to size, so if you hook up to a 30 pounder, it’s very likely that more his size are hanging around!
Because they hang out in shallow waters this time of year, you will most often be “sight-fishing” for them. This means that you’ll be push-poling your way through the flats in 3 feet or less of water while keeping your eyes peeled. Redfish have a healthy appetite this time of year and will bite almost anything, but their favorite bait are shrimp, crabs, and greenbacks. Stay on the lookout for areas where these types of bait hang out and you’ll be sure to find a “Pumpkin Patch” of Redfish, too!
Read more about our Flats Fishing Charters here and book one for this fall to try your hand at reeling in a Redfish!