SEPTEMBER FISHING REPORT:
Over the last couple months, snapper have been the main target at Merry Pier. With a little luck, a little patience, and plenty of live shrimp, it was easy for most anglers to catch their five fish limit of 10” or larger mangrove snapper. Then came Hurricane Irma on September 10. And while the Pier didn’t sustain any major damage, the fishing changed almost overnight – and for the better! The bait had been running small all summer, but after the hurricane, there were thick schools of bait everywhere, including lots of larger greenbacks. Then the redfish and black drum showed up.
Redfish catches have ranged from small 12” fish up to 40” giants, including some in the legal slot sizes. The same is true of the black drum. Catches ranged from 1 pound ‘puppy’ drum up to 35+ pound monsters. Hauling one of these beasts from under the Pier requires stout tackle, strong knots and a bit of good fortune. Live shrimp fished on the bottom, either directly under the Pier or within 20 yards, yielded the best catches.
Snook are biting well on live pinfish, live ladyfish and jumbo shrimp. A few legal gag grouper have been reported, including a 27” fish. A few large Spanish mackerel have been hammering the bait schools. Snapper are still around, and seem to be averaging at least a foot. It appears most of the small snapper have departed since the hurricane passed through. All in all, this is a great time to drop a line!