September is one of my favorite months of the year to fish. Tampa Bay has many options to offer this time of year. Mangrove Snapper are always plentiful for the anglers that are interested in harvesting fish for the freezer, Gag Grouper are starting to pour into the Bay, and Redfish schools are gathering for the fall spawn.
Mangrove Snapper are typically caught in the Bay on rock piles, ledges, and bridge pylons. We typically use both live and dead sardines when targeting these tasty treats, but shrimp also entice them to bite. Mangrove Snapper range in size from 12 inches to 20 inches and they are as good eating as any other fish in my opinion.
Gag Grouper must be 24 inches to legally harvest, and we commonly catch them in Tampa Bay over 30 inches. Gag Grouper’s race for the rock piles that you are trying to pull them out of and the tug of war they put you through is a test for any level of angler. Gag Grouper are caught using live and dead bait fished on the bottom and we also catch them trolling large diving lures on the edge of the Tampa Bay shipping channel.
Redfish gather in large schools during September, and we often catch them several at a time. These spawning schools of Redfish are the extra-large models. Most of them that are landed are in excess of the slot limit of 18-27 inches. Most of the Redfish we catch this time of the year are drag screaming Bull Redfish that are often in the mid 30-inch range.
There are a lot of trips this time of year when you can take advantage of all three of these species on the same day. We enjoy hosting all ages and experience levels. We filet and bag your fish at the end of every fishing trip. Give us a call or book directly on the website.