Ah, November. It’s a little cooler, a bit more comfortable and an absolute pleasure to be outdoors. Typically, November kicks off the annual migration of fish headed for warmer waters south of our area or into the local rivers. Fish will seek a comfortable area in regards to both temperature and habitat.
Spanish mackerel and king mackerel will hang around until the water temperatures drops through 70 degrees, then head south for warmer waters. The best concentration of these fish will be just off the gulf beaches, a bit of a run from South Shore but well worth it.
Also looking for warmth, the improving snook population will head into the rivers and deeper water of Tampa Bay. I expect the bite to be a little better than the last few years but not to the point of the pre-2010 season. Please handle snook with care.
Trout will be on the deeper grass and some of the deeper spots in the Manatee and little Manatee Rivers. Try fishing them with a DOA shrimp under a Cajun Thunder or some of the wide variety of soft plastic tails, along with a jig head. Due to regulations that went into effect in 2012, trout season will remain open year round.
Redfish will move near the many oyster bars that fill the backcountry areas of Tampa Bay. Try using a pinfish under a bobber. Another good way to catch reds is to use cut ladyfish or cut-up pinfish. The dead bait adds a little scent to the waters. When fishing with dead bait you must have patience and expect to catch plenty of catfish.
October was one of the best I’ve seen in quite awhile, and I’m optimistic that November’s bite will be just as good – so long as our air temperature stays near normal.
I can’t go into November without mentioning the annual Fishing for Hope food drive coordinated by Capt. Bill Miller. This year’s event will be Nov. 23 at Metropolitan Ministries. The Tampa Fishing Outfitters Radio Show – aka 1040 The Team – that I host along with Capt. Jason Prieto and Capt. Will Shook will be there to help sink the boat with food for our area’s less fortunate. This year’s goal is exceed 32,000 pounds of food. Stop by, say hi and give to this deserving charity.
Metropolitan Ministries is at 400 West Palm Ave. in Tampa.
Let’s make this a great year!
Danny Guarino is one of three Ruskin-based fishing guides and charter captains who share this column. He can be reached at (813) 956-2010 or [email protected]