The month of October offers fishermen a bigger bite scenario. Inshore fishermen get to experience the big bull redfish migration, which starts taking place this month. These monster redfish start their migration pattern from where they have been holing in the creeks, rivers, and upper sound areas. Once in the back of the (closer to the ocean) sounds, these fish that find a suitable place to bulk up before making their way to the beachfronts and then the ocean.
Schooling baits such as mullet and menhaden provide feeding opportunities for these fish, so where you see any surface action stop, wait and look for any turbulence from underwater feeding or seabirds in a feeding or holding pattern.
Another place to look as well as fish are areas where currents come together forming some sort of rip. Not all rips will hold the interest of redfish, but I can guarantee that once you figure out what to look for, “instant hook ups” can happen.
Always look for any surface oils, sometimes referred to as cat paws.
If there is any bird feeding action, always check out the size and type of the seabirds. If it’s pelicans only, what you most likely have down under is only schools of menhaden meaning “no bigger fish feeding here.” If you have pelicans as well as other small sea birds, then you have a possible big feeding frenzy going on down below! This would be your sign to “fish here!”
For big bull redfish when anchored in areas around live oyster beds, I suggest using small adjustable floats with about 12 inches of 30 to 40 pound test fluorocarbon leader with either semi circle or a standard 2/0 to 3/0 Kahle style hook. Best baits for this rig are going to be lip-hooked live mullet or peanut menhaden or live shrimp hooked up under the horn. If live bait isn’t an option, there are plenty other baits that will work such as dead old or fresh smelly mullet cut in steaks like a loaf of bread or air-dried shrimp with “heads on or off” threaded onto the hook.
When working rips or actual feeding schools of red fish, I suggest using diamond shape jigs (1 to 3 ounces) with or without red or green or yellow miniature tube lures. Jigs such as the Shimano Butterfly (1 to 3 ounces) with double hooks located at the head of the lure will also work.
When it comes to offshore fishing during this time, lots of different bites can happen in the most unusual places. This is the month where fish start their fall migration patterns.
With moving on their mind, all fish have to bulk up as fast as they can, which boils down to major feeding times all of the time. Near shore artificial reefs and natural live bottom areas will holds lots of different size bottom and top water fish.