Fall has definitely arrived here in Florida. The cool weather has settled in making it almost a necessity for early morning jackets and sweatshirts. Daytime temperatures are consistently staying in the 70’s and water temperatures have cooled into the 65-75 degree range. Baitfish numbers are dwindling, but the fall shrimp runs are thick and numerous. November spells transition time and all of our inshore fish are hungy and stocking up on fat stores for the approaching winter months. Redfish, speckled trout and flounder are the main species we target during this time of year. We’ll also find jack crevalle, bluefish and scattered snook. As the cooler weather and water temperatures settle in, the water will soon be turning crystal clear, signaling epic sight fishing conditions and schooling fish. As I’ve noted many times, there’s no slow times for fishing in Florida, every month is good. So grab a rod and let’s go fishing.
The Redfish bite has been excellent as of late. Redfish are on the move towards their over-wintering areas. Water levels have dropped in the area concentraing fish in deeper sand sloughs, creeks, and channels. When the water is higher, or on an incoming tide patterns, we’re finding redfish staged on top or on the edges of sand bars and oyster bars. The water is also clearing up considerably allowing for great sight casting. Finger mullet, shrimp and crabs are preferred baits this time of year, so either use them or lures and flies that mimic or resemble them. Redfish activity and the overall bite increases considerably around the passing cold fronts. As far as an average day, it’s not uncommon this time of year for us to have days catching 5-10 redfish or days of 20-30+; it all depends on how cold it gets and how long the fish stay schooled up during the days afterwards.
The bite for Speckled Trout has also been excellent as of late; just remember the season is closed for the remainder of 2011 so it’s all catch and release. As soon as the water temperatures chill into the 70’s each fall, it’s common for the trout bite to turn on in a major way. Diminishing baitfish supplies trigger these fish to feed aggressively and that means great fishing and really good chances at catching trophy size trout in the 5-10lb range. As we start into November, that’s exactly the case in the Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River around Edgewater and New Smyrna. During the past few days we’ve caught a 3-4 trout each day in the 5-8lb range, in addition to several smaller fish in the 2-4lb range. We’re finding a majorty of our trout shadowing mullet schools around sand sloughs and sand spots. Live mullet is prized commodity for trout fishing this time of year, so again use it, or throw topwater plugs, swimbaits, and soft plastic shad style baits.
The Flounder bite continues to be good in all the backwaters around Ponce Inlet. These fish are migrating towards the Inlet itself so creek mouths, sand bars, docks and seawalls on the ICW, and bays adjacent to the ICW will hold the majority of the fish. Mullet and mud minnows are the preferred baits of choice. Free line them or peg them on a jighead when fishing deeper water. You can also drag a live shrimp pegged on a jig along the bottom.
With the strong finger mullet run around Ponce Inlet we are finding 5-10lb Jack Crevalle and 2-5lb Bluefish. Both are great fighters on light tackle and provide consistent catching while waiting between preferred tide patterns. We’re also entering a time of year when Snook begin to school up and migrate into the remote backwaters before winter settles in. Typically we catch great numbers of snook during the late fall and winter. Our numbers, however, are still drastically off what we had 3 years ago before the big freeze, but more are being spotted and caught, so it’s not out of the question to find willing participants.
Limited dates are available in November as my month is nearly 3/4’s booked. I have some scattered dates remaining. December dates are also filling quickly. Give me a call now to check my availability and reserve/book a date. Short notice trips are accepted if I have a date available. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. Read my fishing report archive to review write-ups from the past several years. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.