Central Florida Saltwater Freshwater Fishing Report for Sept 18th-Sept 24th

HILLSBOROUGH, COUNTY, Fla. – Welcome to Angler Insider sharing the best spots and plots to catch fresh and saltwater gamefish each week in Central Florida.

Mark Hays’ Schoolie Bass On The Hillsborough River
The Brief
  • Weather: Cooler air and water temperatures.
  • Moon: Steep new moon tides through the weekend.
  • Bass: Keep up to five but only one 16 inches or longer.
  • Panfish: Keep up to 50 of any length.
  • Crappie: Keep up to 25.
  • Bluefish: Keep up to ten 12-inches or longer.
  • Spanish mackerel: Keep up to fifteen, 12-inches or longer.
  • Mangrove snapper: Keep up to five 10 inches or longer.
  • Flounder: Keep up to ten 12 inches or more.
  • Spanish mackerel: Keep up to three, 12 inches or longer.
  • Release snook, redfish, and spotted seatrout south of Hernando/Pasco line.
  • It’s okay to keep one snook between 28-33 inches if caught north of Hernando/Pasco line.
  • Revive gamefish before releasing them.
  • Covid-19: Keep distance, wash hands, don’t share lures.

And just like that, lakes in Central Florida are about 5-degrees cooler and oxygen content is higher. From Teneroc to Toho bass have a new burst of feeding energy. Cast or slow-troll drop-offs. Work moving water between lakes with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, spoons, and poppers. Finesse weedless frog lures and weedless spoons over lily pads. Many big bass still spend most of the daylight hours in thick, shady vegetation. If you’re after your 10-pounder, lower a live shiner into their hideaway.

Bluegill, you ask? Fly cast a silly leg spider or spin-cast a small jig tipped with a red worm. When you catch one, fish that spot carefully.


Steep morning and evening tides this week give inshore anglers super-good windows for catching all nearshore species. For schooling foragers like Spanish mackerel and bluefish, fish down-tide from bridges, Gulf piers, and jetties. A gold spoon with a strong leader delivers the one-two punch.

The famous big three – snook, redfish-seatrout – are on the flats, of course. The last third of a falling tide is often best. Snook and redfish are hitting walk-the-dog lures near shorelines with fast-moving water. Big mamas often wait until the last 30-minutes of the evening magic hour. If you’re getting bugged by no-see-ums, you’re probably in the right place.

To check the weather radar and forecast, please click here.

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