Many pelagic fish are highly migratory, often moving from the colder northern waters to more temperate waters following the bait fish into the Southern Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean Sea.
Early October brings wahoo closer to shore off the North Carolina coast and the fall run of blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna, marlin and sailfish begins. As the fall progresses these species continue to move south and into the Gulf of Mexico. Call or visit your local bait and tackle shop to see what is biting and where. They can also be a great resource for historical migrations in your area.
These offshore species tend to follow thermal currents where there are distinct differences in temperature on each side. Satellite thermal maps of the Gulfstream waters can show eddies where the fish may be gathering.
Fishing offshore, follow the sargassum weed lines. Baitfish like to hide in this habitat and predatory fish seek to ambush them. Frigate and other birds circling offshore are great indicator for where predatory fish such as sailfish, marlin and tuna are. The birds circle above until the predators drive a bait ball to the surface for easy pickings.
As the water begins to get cooler, bluefish, dolphin (mahi mahi), Spanish mackerel and king mackerel get closer to shore. Inshore sea trout and drum fishing heats up around November in the Carolinas down to south Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. As the water gets colder the inshore species generally get more lethargic and seek deeper holes to hide in.
Inshore and Freshwater Fishing
All fish are cold blooded and with water temperature drops they slow down. Their feeding changes from aggressive attack to a more methodical ambush behavior. Inshore and on freshwater lakes and streams, a slower and more precise bait presentation is required. With artificial or a jig, fish close to the bottom. Small, slow crankbait near or bounced on the bottom also works. A slow and methodical technique is in order. Have patience and wait for the fish to take the bait. The pay-off is bringing to great fish home for dinner.
Your local MarineMax is a great resource for fishing in your area. Many MarineMax stores offer fishing seminars that cover popular species in the local waters. Many carry popular fishing brands such as Boston Whaler, Scout, Grady-White, Sailfish, Sea Hunt and other new and used fish boats. Stop by your local MarineMax to learn more.
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