September 2014 Fishing Forecast for Clearwater and Dunedin Fl.
July and August were outstanding months to be fishing. And with any luck, we should have a very active continuation of fishing and catching into September. Water and air temperatures will still be on the warm side just below 90 degrees. The bait fish are concentrated in Clearwater Bay and St Joseph Sound which will keep the fish coming back for more. Expect a slight cool down late in the month because of shorter days. With any help of an early cool front, the fishing will start to get even better.
I have been using the top of the incoming tide to catch a variety of fish on the flats. Finding an area that has grass with sand holes and moving water has been the ticket. These types of areas generally hold the bait fish, pinfish and white bait, which attracts the larger species such as redfish, trout, mackerel, ladyfish and sharks. Try different flats, some are better than others.
Finding mackerel at the top of the tide throughout the inside bays should be an easy task. Stake out the boat and start chumming and soon the toothy critters will show up. Some of these fish have been quite big this year. A client back in July caught a 33 inch fish that weighed in at almost 10 lbs.
Tip: I do not use a wire leader because you will get more bites with a mono or fluorocarbon type leader. You may lose a few more hooks but the difference in bites will make up for it.
The redfish are scattered throughout the bay on skinny water flats and around large oyster beds. They will not be in large numbers yet, but small groups can be found. Use the high tide to search the shallows up next to the mangrove shorelines. Don’t forget to try some docks, reds do like to hang out in the shallows at mid day.
Tip: Have some cut up baits in a chum bat ready so if you come up on a few redfish, shut down everything and sling out the chum. Most of the time, this should hold some of those fish from swimming off.
Trout will still be in there summer haunts, passes and grass flats throughout September. Finding old yellow mouth is not difficult but locating the 20+ inchers, may take some looking. I will be exploring the 3ft to 4ft deep flats that have good moving water. In the middle of August, we pulled several 22 inch trout from just this type of water.
Tip: Start your fishing on the up side of the grass flat. That’s the side the moving water is hitting first. The trout will be ambushing their food as it approaches the up side of the flat.
On typical charter trips in September we will be catching trout, redfish, snook, mackerel, sharks and lady fish, all will be feeding mainly on white baits and shrimp. As long as the white bait remains in the bays and passes, look for all of the inshore fish to be feeding.
Capt. Gary Burch owns and operates All Catch Charters and specializes in live baits and artificials. He guides inshore, flats and backcountry from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. To reach Capt. Gary for a charter, please call 727 458-6335 or visit his website:
Capt. Gary Burch