Fishing Report November 2018
Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sea Hag November Report
The fishing has been fantastic this month. The weather has been about average, with a big cold snap at the end of the month, and the water temps have been a little lower than usual, but both redfish, trout and flounder fishing have all been excellent. I fished with several friends on the 30th and we found some nice trout, all over 20 inches, and three redfish in about two hours of fishing. Offshore, some massive gag grouper have been brought in to the cleaning tables. There was a very successful Pro Redfish series event this month with lots of fish coming in. With whitebait of all sizes around, there were also random packs of jacks, Spanish mackerel, and bluefish terrorizing the flats. Put it all together and you’ve got fun on the water. Here are some pictures of this month’s catches.
Fishing Forecast For December
While we had a few days of very cold weather, the large trout migration into the river hasn’t happened yet, although there have been some good catches of sand trout. It will take a little longer lasting cold front with temperatures staying in the 30’s for several nights, but given how things have been going, that will likely happen this month, maybe even this last week of November with a cold front forecast. There are several basics to fishing in water when the water temp gets into the low 60’s or below. Shallow water keeps the water temp the same as the air temp, so temps in the 30’s will drive fish off the flats and into deeper, warmer water…like the river, which can be more than 20 feet deep in some areas. When the trout do come in the river, they tend to stay deep, or in the middle of the water column. While many swear by trolling 52M Mirrolures to locate fish, I’ve always found it easier to use my bottom finder and look for collections of fish, then drop either live shrimp with light weights or jigs with Gulp tips and fish them on the bottom. Many times this means casting upstream so the current will bring the baits down near the bottom. Because fish tend to congregate in rocky areas near the bottom, expect to lose some rigs. If you’re not hooking into rocks now and then, you may not be fishing deep enough. In the afternoons, if the sun is bright and the tide is high, the banks of the river will warm up considerably and you might try throwing small jigs in shallower water away from the channel. The oyster and sand bars south of marker 26 will often hold fish in the afternoons when things warm up. Outside the river, look for schools of redfish. In very cold weather they become lethargic, but if you can get a flood tide in the afternoon, look close to shore for schools of fish. Jumping mullet can give you a hint that water temperatures in that area are reasonable from a fish’s standpoint. With low water temperatures, do not expect to catch fish on the sandy or grass flats. Remember that oyster bars, rocks and dark mud bottom hold heat, and fish those spots in the afternoons after things warm up. Regardless of whether you’re in the river or on the flats, low water temperatures mean “slow down”. Whatever you’re fishing, subsurface plugs, jigs, or even topwaters if you’re feeling optimistic, fish them about one third of your normal speed. Offshore, this time of year, live pinfish or whitebait, frozen squid will all work when bottom fishing for grouper. Be on the lookout for migrating whitebait schools with kingfish and Spanish mackerel chasing them, and fish sandy areas slowly with jigs to target flounder, whether deep or shallow. It’s a great month to fish, weather permitting. Just dress warmly, maybe go out a little later to let things warm up, and take a thermos of hot liquid.
This year’s Christmas Bazaar will be held at the Steinhatchee Community Center on December 8th at 10 AM. There will be a boat parade at dark. You can find arts and crafts, food and drink, raffles and door prizes. Hope to see you there, and we want to wish everyone the very happiest Christmas and holiday season. May you get all the rods, reels, tackle or boats you want from Santa (and you can find lots of gifts at the Sea Hag Ship’s Store). See you next year!
Capt. Steve Rassell www.lastcastrass.com 352 359-5902