by Capt. Greg Stamper
November is here, and we’ll all be busy fishing for a variety of species based on the weather patterns. Weather during November can be very nice, typically our highs can reach the low 80’s and our lows around 60. Every once in awhile a stronger cold front can work its way to us, but most of the time they stall out near Tampa.
These fronts are about the only thing that can slow a bite down this time of the year. Fishing before these frontal boundaries arrive is usually awesome. Wind becomes a bigger factor as our nearshore wrecks and reefs will be in play. Depending on how much wind we have, and the direction its coming from, anglers will have to decide where and what to fish for.
On days when its windy, especially coming from the West or Northwest we’ll fish in the back bays, rivers, and flats. On days when its nice and calm out, we’ll run out to the nearshore reefs and wrecks.
So inshore the redfish bite should take top billing. Typically, redfish will be found in groups of similar size fish as they school up throughout the area. Spreads for reds is an easy way to fish for them around docks, oyster bars, and mangrove islands.
Snook fishing will continue to be excellent, both along the beaches and in the back bays. Snook fishing will continue to be big number days, until a real cold front makes its way through here. Most snook are between 15-30 inches with a few giants here and there.
Pompano love the water as it cools off and invade our local beaches, passes, and back bay cuts as the chase sand fleas, shrimp, and small crabs.
Trout fishing should become another big target. Trout can be found anywhere there are grass flats usually in 2-4 feet of water. A simple popping cork and shrimp rig is deadly on these fish.
Of course, as water temperatures begin to cool, we will also begin to see migrations of other fish moving around the area as well. Black drum, bluefish, flounder, mackerel, sheepshead, etc. all can be found as we transition to cooler water.
Nearshore fishing during the low wind days gives anglers a bunch of options. As the big tarpon move their way from up North we can target 100 pound plus fish regularly along our coastline and out to 50 feet. These fish are following and staying with the threadfin herring schools that are thick during this time of the year.
Bonita, kingfish, cobia and other migrating fish become abundant. There’s no guessing which off these fish you’ll run into first but be prepared for all of them. Trolling plugs, live baiting on a drift, or the run and gun approach are all ways of getting a tight line when any of them are around.
Our local wrecks and reefs are in play for those that like bottom fishing. Dropping jigs or chicken rigs down with a variety of offerings can put you in touch with groupers, snapper, sharks, etc. Frozen baits, live baits, and even bouncing a fancy looking jig are all ways of getting it done.
Don’t forget when running around from place to place to keep an eye on the buoys, grass mats, or any debris you my stumble across as tripletail season is now in full swing.
Capt Greg Stamper