November is a transition month on the inshore waters of Central Florida. November typically signals the end of the fall bait run as stronger cold front sweep into the area dropping water temperatures. The ensuing cooler water temperatures also start to move fish toward their overwintering areas. Tarpon and redfish dominated the action in October with fantastic catch results. While most of the tarpon have exited center stage, Novembers will bring great action for redfish, trout and snook. The clear waters settling in will make for epic sight fishing conditions the remainder of the year.
The first half of October was spent chasing the remainder of the migrating adult Tarpon on the nearshore waters off Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach. At one point we were jumping 4-5 tarpon over 100lbs each day. As these fish continued their migration down the coast, however, things slowed to 1-2 per day. What a great run it was though, with lots of landed fish including a few near the 200lb mark. Now we’ll wait till next spring before these migrating giants move back up the coast. In the meantime we’ll settle for resident juveniles in the 5-20lb range for the remainder of the year. Since these tarpon don’t migrate, they will instead seek out deeper holes that will provide thermal refuge for the winter months. If you know where they hide, they can be caught anytime.
When the action began to slow for tarpon, it exploded in the Lagoons for Redfish. The first hard cold front of the season dropped water temperatures briefly into the 50’s and the redfish turned ravenous. The week after was double digit redfish catches every day, including one day where I hooked 13 redfish on fly during a 4-hour span. The shorelines and sand sloughs were loaded with hungry redfish gorging themselves on fiddler crabs and shrimp. Clean water is grabbing ahold in much of the Lagoons making for exceptional sight fishing. I mentioned this time of the year is a transitional phase and the cold fronts can be infrequent. It’s been two weeks since the last one and water temperatures have again returned to the 80’s. The best action is now again on the open grass flats among the bait pods and the scattered redfish are back to eating baitfish. This pattern will repeat itself over and over with every passing cold front and proceeding warming trend. Lures and bait of choice are also transitional. DOA shrimp, soft plastic jerk shads, spoons, and topwater plugs have been the lures of choice. Redfish are trashing shrimp flies left and right. Sight cast with live shrimp or cut pinfish when necessary. Free lining live mullet among the bait pods will take both redfish and trout.
Speckled Trout fishing is steady around the bait pods in the morning. Colder and cleaner water is also improving sight fishing for bigger trout approaching 10lbs laid up later in the day. There has been a bit of floating grass making it tough to throw topwater plugs lately. Soft plastic jerk shads worked subsurface around the bait has scored good numbers of trout up to 5lbs. Free-lining a live finger mullet is also producing good trout catches during the first couple hours of the morning.
Snook lately are just as transitional as redfish. When the water is cooler around the cold fronts, snook have been schooled and concentrated on shorelines around deep water. As the water heats up on the warming trend, snook have been scattering out onto the grass and adjacent shorelines. The cold fronts have signaled the big snook to start migrating to the backcountry. DOA terroreyez or swimbaits have been good for working the bottom while DOA shrimp have been good for sight casting to ones you can see. I’ve landed many decent fish in the 20-25” range during the past month, nothing worth a picture though.
October was another packed month for charters, November will be as well. Only limited dates remaining in November so call now to reserve a date. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.