Fishing Report November 2017
Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sea Hag November Report
We hope everyone had a happy and food-filled Thanksgiving. Now it’s time to fish. As usual once we get past October, the fishing becomes very temperature and weather dependent. But there are still plenty of fish to be had, and a lot came to the tables this month. Redfish were schooling well, and the really big fish are getting ready to move offshore and some were taken in shallow water. Trout were a little inconsistent but luckily there were sand trout around to fill in the limits. In general, the bite was best south of the river, including all the way down to the Pepperfish Keys. And the Spanish mackerel bite was very consistent; they were there if you wanted them, along with migrating schools of big bluefish. There was no shortage of inshore action this month. Offshore, some nice kingfish and gag grouper were brought in. Here are some pics of this month’s catches…
Fishing forecast for December
In terms of catches, December can be simply spectacular, or really challenging. Several of the best days I’ve ever had trout fishing were a few days after a bitter cold front, as things warm up in the afternoons with late high tides. Winter puts trout in a schooling mode and they’re interested in one thing: staying warm. Knowing that can give you an advantage, because the temperatures on the flats in shallow water are very susceptible to the air temperature; deeper water, whether in deep holes in the flats, further offshore, or in the river, is warmer. So where do you find warmer water? Look for days with a really low morning tide, and an afternoon high with sunny skies. Areas with dark bottom or with lots of rocks hold heat when exposed to the sun on a low tide, and when the tides flood in, that water may be 5 degrees warmer than the surrounding areas. Here’s an example: when trout are in the river, with consistent cold temperatures, they tend to stay in the channel and as deep as they can. That’s why you’ll see lots of boats anchored right next to the channel and casting into the channel with sinking baits or lures. However, if there’s a winter low tide in the morning, exposing the banks of the river to sun, with higher tides in the afternoon, try moving toward shallower water later in the day because the water over those banks will be considerably warmer by then. Obviously this is especially true on clear sunny days. Always be careful when working toward the shoreline in the river; there are some major oyster bars (one heading south from marker 26). Idle slowly toward shore and cast into 3 to 4 feet of water. Three of my favorite spots to try this are almost directly across from Roy’s Restaurant on the south side of the river; just past Gulf Breeze at the “Resume Speed” sign on the north side of the river; and the south shoreline east of the oyster bars at marker 26. No matter where you fish, remember the primary rule of winter fishing: SLOW. Fish everything slower than you can stand and you’ll be fine. Next month I’ll talk about tactics, lures and baits to use in cold water. Offshore we’ll continue to have migration of kingfish and Spanish mackerel, and gag grouper can be caught in relatively shallower water. For gags, fish squid or frozen Spanish sardines. If you can catch some live bait, fish it on the bottom but put one bait on a surface line under a bobber for kingfish. Some disheartening news from the Gulf Council; it appears that amberjack will continue to be closed until April (it was scheduled to open January 1).
One tournament to look for this month is the Eggnog Open, Saturday December 16th. Don’t miss it. My favorite kind of tournament as it’s restricted to artificial baits. Remember that we have everything you will need to fish our area, including rods, reels, frozen bait, a wide selection of lures, and lots of customized apparel.
And whether or not you get to fish during this busy month, the Sea Hag staff wants to wish everyone a very merry Christmas season and a great New Year as well.
Here are some Guide Reports:
Captain Steve Rassel 352-359-5902 www.lastcastrass.net
The trout continue to be found in numbers on the flats both north and south of the river. Look for this trend to continue until the water gets noticeably colder. When that happens the fish will start their winter migration into the deeper holes in the creeks and rivers. Redfish are still moving in from deeper water and quite a few overslot are being taken. They can be found in the shallow and deeper flats. There are still Spanish mackerel around the sand bars and some flounder and sea bass being taken Charters available.
Captain Kyle Skipper M1fishing.com (352) 317-1654