October brings cooler weather and red-hot fishing. Tuesday as we traveled out of Pass-a-Grille Channel with Ken Helms and three of his associates, birds were working the surface as Spanish mackerel and school-size kingfish ripped through glass minnows. One throw of the net at the tripod furnished all the live chum and snapper-size live bait we could use in a day.
Our first three stops - at 65, 80 and 90 feet - were to see how far in the grouper have moved. While we did find short fish at those depths, we knew what we were looking for waited in 130 feet.
The first stop at 120 feet produced six reds, the largest 19 pounds, and two gags about 8 pounds each. The next stop in 130 feet made our day, with six species caught: yellowtail snapper, American red snapper, mangrove snapper, red grouper, gag grouper and a true black grouper.
The recent weather has moved the fish from various locations around the state and the pipeline that runs across the gulf has become a highway for red snapper to move from the upper half of the gulf into our area.
Several areas we had fished now look different on our color machine, indicating some numbers have been covered up with sand. We found fish on Tuesday at all new numbers, areas that previously had not held fish.