Thursday, November 12, 2009

Watch The Weather For Best Fall Fishing

Tampa Fishing Reports November 2009 Fishing Report Monday, 02 November 2009 16:09 | Written by Stewart Ames

spanish mackerel

Summer is begrudgingly giving way to fall, as the first few cold fronts have pushed their way into the area. This time of year can provide some of the very best fishing but watching the weather is very important. Fishing immediately preceding a front can be outstanding...the next day, however, may be one that leaves you wondering if there are any fish within miles of you. Wind direction is also key. Light or east winds mean clear water, which means that bait, and everything that eats it, will be closer to shore. These are the days when kingfish can be caught just a stone's throw from the beach. Let those northwest winds start to blow though and the near shore bite, and bait, will disappear. All of the above has already played out in October and will continue on in to November.

There were numerous days of very good fishing in the last month, both inshore and near shore. Mackerel and the occasional small to medium sized kingfish were several hundred yards from the beach on some mornings and provided great light tackle sport. Other days, fish were a little deeper at the five mile reefs. Fishing over these structures usually yielded good catches of snapper and big mackerel, plus the occasional kingfish, bonita, cobia or grouper. Using spinning tackle in the 15 to 30 lbs class made this fishing both exciting and challenging. A small split shot would do the trick for snapper but when the surface bite would get going, throwing out a medium sized white bait on a #1/0 hook attached to a 4 inch piece of wire would result in steady action from a variety of fish.

mangrove snapper

Inshore, snook were scarce this month but some unseasonably large trout were already in residence. Usually, our 20 inch plus trout don't show up in numbers until late November but numerous large fish were found this last month, mostly in areas with access to deeper water. Fly lined pilchards on #1/0 hooks on 20 lbs flourocarbon leader were the ticket. Once pockets of these fish were located they could be chummed into a frenzy, at times. Consistent with what's expected this time of year, many of these trout were12 to 15 inches, but the occasionally big boy would show up. Do remember that, in the south region(south of Fred Howard Park), trout season is closed for the months of November and December.

guys with redfish

October is historically an outstanding redfish month. The early part of the month lived up to expectations, both in terms of numbers and size of fish. The last few weeks were sporadic at best. With strong tides in the first week of November, hopefully we'll see some good numbers of fish before they begin to thin out for the winter.

big redfish

Large breeders should be available for the next month on near shore rock piles and at the mouths of passes so, if you want to catch the redfish of a lifetime, use large baits such as medium pinfish or large chunks of cut ladyfish with a sinker to hold them in place. Cast these out and be patient. Using big baits serves two purposes...first, it's what these big reds want and second, smaller fish are discouraged from messing around with these over-sized portions, allowing more time for a big red to find the bait.

As long as our water temps stay in the seventies, there are a broad range of fish to be caught. Some of our best weather of the year is here right now, so get out on the water and enjoy it. Good luck and good fishing.

Captain Stewart Ames
Gone Fishing Charters

US Coast Guard Licensed Captain
Member Florida Guides Association
(727) 421-5291

© 2007 Captain Stewart Ames, Gone Fishing Charters, Tampa, FL

Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 November 2009 22:50)

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