Last Updated on September 30, 2021 by Eric Bonneman

Species like redfish are available nearly all year in Sarasota, and well, maybe even all year if you don’t mind traveling to spring-fed waters when it gets cold. But Fall always rings in redfish fishing season in particular, especially in October.

Why? Let’s dive in!

The Spawn

This is what pretty much sums it up – it’s spawning time for redfish. Spawning activity for reds has a slightly different clock depending on where you are along the Gulf coast. In Sarasota, October rings in this main timeframe for the area.

Now, redfish spawn in offshore waters, or at least deeper waters in the 50-foot range. Even out there, they still come to the surface creating a “golden vortex” (as FWC puts it). But this is not our concern. It’s the inshore we are focused on.

There are a few things spawning redfish are looking for, one of these is food. Those 50 foot depths really place them in the nearshore and the inshore is just a short run away for this species.

(I’m stacking info to make a point, hang in there).

So what happens when they get hungry? They move inshore for easy meals – in groups.

All of that said, there is also a resident population of redfish, generally under 27 inches, that are in the area – just like the rest of the year. But these spawning groups come in and combine forces with them. Essentially, multiplying the population.

This is what we find, massive schools of redfish plowing across the flats. October is smack in the middle of that combination of events. (Maybe the slang term for redfish, “flats pumpkins”, makes a little more sense now).

It is important to add, 27 inches generally marks the spawning age of redfish (this is why many fishing regs are wrapped around that specific length). So, when realizing that, you soon understand that when these spawning groups roll in, we are talking big quality redfish.

Combo Opportunities

So, we’ve shed some light on why Fall redfish are so popular in Sarasota, but this isn’t all. Snook, resident tarpon, and seatrout will all still be available – among several other species. Making Fall one of the best times to fish in the area.