Red October: Why Fall Redfish Are So Popular In St. Pete

With Fall freshly rolling in, one thing inshore anglers all around St. Petersburg look forward to is fishing for redfish. Dubbed the “flats pumpkin” just in time for Fall, redfish populations swell in the month of October.

Let’s look at why.

St. Petersburg Redfish In October

Redfish are a resident species of inshore gamefish in St. Petersburg. They are active all year round and, other than changing your approach during different times of the year, they are readily available.

A picture of Red October: Why Fall Redfish Are So Popular In St. Pete on one of our St. Petersburg Fishing Charters

Why Is The Fishing For Reds Better In October?

I hear ya’. I just said they are available all year, so what’s the big deal with October? I’ll explain.

In October offshore redfish move into this fishery for pre-spawn activities. One of those activities is feeding. What ends up happening is schools of hungry (and somewhat larger) redfish take to the St. Pete flats and intermingle with our resident species. This is what causes the redfish population to swell in October.

But, October is also a transitional month when it comes to weather. This is Florida after all, so Fall doesn’t necessarily mean cold, but there are changes and subtle nuances change with them.

One of these changes is the redfish diet. Sometime during this part of the year, when water temps drop, baitfish move out of the area. Redfish don’t chase them along the way, they switch gears and move to bottom-feeding mode.

This is where the main diet consists of easy meals like small shellfish and crabs along the bottom. When this happens, redfish begin to “tail”. Tailing redfish are a favorite of inshore anglers and this time of year is when that starts.

When you combine all of these aspects, October easily becomes the top month for targeting reds.

How To Target Fall Redfish

The biggest key is to follow what’s going on. Early and even into late Fall, redfish can be just as active and feeding on the same things as in summer. However, it’s temp changes that really need to be considered. In Florida, this can be sort of a wild card. Each year is different.

But, when the temps drop and baitfish move out, it will be time to “match the hatch”, so to speak.

Switching to shrimp and crab, redfish are in the zone to eat what is easiest to find. Whether fishing with bait or lures your approach must match all that is going on.

Working the bottom of shallow waters over grass flats and oyster beds will be the key areas to target. As always, working a moving tide will offer the most productivity.

While doing this, work your offering slowly along the bottom. If sight fishing, lead the fish by enough distance not to spook it. Unlike the high energy attacks of summer, cooler weather brings in a calmer approach from this species.

A picture of Red October: Why Fall Redfish Are So Popular In St. Pete on one of our St. Petersburg Fishing Charters

Fish With Us

With over twenty years of experience fishing for Fall reds in St. Pete, Captain Kevin here at Non-Stop Fishing Charters is your go-to fishing guide in the area. Every fall he looks forward to the exceptional fishing in the area and will gladly bring you along for an epic fishing journey.

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