Hopefully by the time this report is out the weather has turned back to normal. Last month’s hot days definitely changed the fish’s patterns around. Most of the fish were starting to move into their normal November spots until the heat wave came. I was fishing inshore with the water temps around 75 degrees in the beginning of November then after the first week of 85-90 degree temps the water climbed back up to around the 85 degree mark, moving everything around.
The fishing was still good; you just had to move around a little to find out where they moved to. Well now and for the next few months the fishing patterns will be to target the holes on the lower tides. This is the time of the year when we have the negative low tides around the full and new moons. On these tides and a good north wind all the water will leave the area and this leaves the deeper holes with the only water. This is also a good time to be throwing artificial baits. When the water temps drop down in the low 70’s you should see the bigger trout start showing up and these guy are a lot of fun to toss lures at. You can target them in the deeper depressions and sand patches on the flats or in the holes at low tide also around the islands along the river. Once you locate them you should be able to catch your limit in no time. They will be schooled up and looking to eat. Use a popping cork with the DOA shrimp under it and most of your strikes will be when the bait is floating back down so be ready. The Sheephead population will be increasing also with the down turn of the water temps. Target the docks with a lot of barnacles on the pilings. Targeting docks can also be a day saver. When we get the cold fronts come thru with those windy days you can’t beat dock fishing. The deeper canals can hold everything from Gag Grouper, Reds, Mangrove snapper, Snook along with the Sheapheads. We have a lot of canals in our area, the well-known ones like Gulf Harbors, Hudson along with Leisure Beach. If you have never just concentrated on dock fishing for the day you have missed some quality fishing. There is some down sides to this type of fishing. Make sure you bring plenty of supplies; you are going to lose some tackle this way. But in the long run it is worth it and you can stay out of the wind this way on those bad days. Cobia should start to show up around the power plant. You can find them later in the day by drifting the flats around the power plant and look for the sting rays and you will find the Cobia. The Spanish mackerel bite should be good around Anclote Island. Off shore: The Grouper bite should be great, this is the best time of the year to target the Grouper. Gag and red grouper have been on just about every spot you stop and hit that has ledges or hard bottom. The amberjack have been pretty abundant also. The King fish have also been in close.