Snook fishing around Sarasota in October was exceptional. We had success using artificial lures and flies when targeting snook. On windy days we focused our attention on wind blown points with a good mixture of seagrass and sandy potholes in 1 – 4 feet of water. Snook were also very active on the leeward side of islands in areas that had good depth, uneven mangrove shorelines (points & coves) and the presence of baitfish. The best artificial baits were Mirrolure Mirrodines XLs, weedless soft plastic jerk baits, and paddletails on jig heads. At night, we found success on dock lights with the same baits. Dock lights in areas with good tidal flow provided the best fishing action. Dock lights where the snook are facing in the same direction (up current) gives the angler an opportunity to catch multiple fish.
Seatrout fishing remained consistent in our area. We began seeing larger seatrout in shallow water later in the day towards the end of October. DOA shrimp, soft plastics on jigs, jerk shads, and mirrodine XLs were great baits to use throughout the month. Clouser minnows and deceivers on clear sink tip lines provided the best action for fly fishing anglers. Covering water using the mirrodine XL is a great way to locate larger seatrout. Once you locate them, you can pick the area apart with slower moving baits at greater depths. Anglers found gator trout near oyster bars at creek mouths in close proximity to grass flats. Due to seatrout’s soft mouths, it’s very easy to pull the bait out of larger gator trout’s mouth. Loosening the drag on your reel, applying consistent pressure, and gently easing these large seatrout into the net is the best way to increase the odds of landing a quality fish.