On the Water: Be prepared, there’s good fishing ahead
This is the time of year that’s possible to combine summer and winter fishing together. As cool fronts begin to arrive, our waters are cooling down with fish transitioning from summer to winter patterns. Up until now it’s felt more like summer than winter, but that’s sure to change soon.
Sea trout is the state’s most popular inshore game fish and Southwest Florida is no exception; our waters boast some of the best trout fishing in the state. Unlike redfish, snook, grouper or tarpon, trout are much easier to target for all anglers, and they are great on the table. Trout should be plentiful and feeding heavily on small bait fish, then as we near the end of the month and the water cools, shrimp could become the top bait.
November can be a great month for targeting redfish and snook if it doesn’t get too cold too quickly. Redfish can tolerate a sudden drop in temperature, but snook not so much. Snook are on the move from their summer homes around the beaches and relocating throughout the inshore waters. If it remains relatively warm, they may be found feeding over inshore flats, oyster bars, shorelines and sand holes. If it turns cold quickly, they will seek shelter from the cold in protected areas like canals, rivers and shorelines with deep water. The large schools of redfish that prowled the inshore flats over the last few months will move offshore or break up. It’s still possible to run into a school, but most reds will be in pairs or small bunches. Look for reds tailing over shallow flats on the lowest tides and in the same areas as previously mentioned for snook.
Gag grouper season is open throughout the month with larger fish moving near shore and inshore. Most anglers target grouper in the Gulf waters, but if you find some underwater structure inshore, it could hold some good fish. Docks, piers, bridges or any type of underwater debris is a good place to look, and it doesn’t have to be very deep, often well less than 10 feet.
For fun and action, mackerel, bluefish, small sharks, ladyfish and jack crevalle are feeding on bait schools, and also expect an increase in species like pompano and sheepsheads. As the month wears on and the water gets cooler, large sheepshead are on the move from offshore to near and inshore. Target them in the same areas mentioned for grouper, along the beaches, and around deeper oyster bars.
Also, expect big boys like cobia, tarpon and sharks to make an appearance and look for large “smoker” king mackerel offshore.
As the waters of Southwest Florida continue to cool this month, there should be plenty of good fishing to keep anglers busy. As we approach the holiday or “busy” season, there is no better place to be than on the water away from the crowds and traffic.
If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at 238-283-7960, on the Web at www.fishpine-island.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a safe week and good fishin’.