While everyone raves about summer swimming and boating opportunities, here at the Indian River Lagoon, fall just might be our favorite season. In autumn, the constant summer storms have ceased but we still get that warm temperature that beckons all of us outdoors. Plus, those worried about gators (which unfortunately have dominated headlines this summer) will be pleased to know that fall and winter are the lowest activity periods for these local animals. However, while the daily storms may have ceased and gators have returned to their lazy nature, it’s important to note that fall is Florida’s peak hurricane window and so while it may be a perfect time to be out on a boat or jet ski, it’s also important to understand that the season comes with its own issues. The following is quick at both the good and bad things you should know about fall boating in Florida:
What You Should Know about Fall Boating
- Outstanding time for fishing. Fall is mullet season which means its also prime fishing time. Every fall, schools of mullet migrate south along the Atlantic coastline before finally heading offshore at the southern end of Florida to spawn in the ocean. Fishers who follow this annual mullet run know that where there is mullet, there is big game fish. From September to October, this is the time you’re going to enjoy easy catching of predatory species like tarpon, snook, bluefish, jacks, and Spanish mackerel. While gung-ho anglers can certainly find luck fishing from piers and bridges, why when you can enjoy boating as well?
- Manatee migration into the springs. During the summer months, manatees travel throughout Southeastern rivers and coastal waters, with common sightings as far north as Virginia and as far west as Texas. But come fall, these behemoths are heading to the springs so as to spend the winter months in warm spring waters. For fall boaters this means that while you and your family will be more likely to enjoy the exciting and cool sight of these animals in the wild, the higher migration numbers require captains to be careful and aware of their surroundings. We recommend wearing polarized sunglasses for better underwater sight. Should you see or suspect manatees in your local vicinity, put the boat into idle and disengage the propellers until they have moved a safe distance away.
- Boat owners should have an evacuation plan ready. Here at Indian River, we are most at risk for hurricane storms during the months of September and October (although the official hurricane season stretches from June to November). If you own a boat or jet ski, then now is the time to start planning an evacuation and storage plan. While boast stored ashore are far more likely to survive hurricane and storm damages, this isn’t always feasible. We recommend all boat owners talking to their marina about their own evacuation plans in the event of an approaching hurricane or tropical storm. Follow their advice on proper storage and plans for your own boat. For boats that must remain on the dock or on the hook, make sure to properly secure and strip it of any excess gear (bimini tops, cushions, clamp-on grills, etc.) to reduce windage.
- Better boating deals and boating shows. The fall months are big for boating shows and expos, with many offering highly attractive seasonal sales. So if you are looking to buy your own boat or simply grab some cool gear, now is the time to explore your options and see what’s out there for you and your family. We also have our own special seasonal offerings, so be sure to ask!
Contact Us to Learn More or to Schedule Your Own Fall Boating Adventure
Of course, not everyone wants to have the stress of hurricane prep or the ongoing costs of maintenance, which is why we offer the perfect solution of boating without the commitment. Come join our 321 Boat Club and enjoy all the benefits of Florida’s boating opportunities without the headaches.