Thursday, November 17, 2011

Clearwater Fishing Report 11-16-2011

Beautiful Weather, Fish On!


Hi friends! Welcome to my fishing report for mid November. It's been a pretty mild fall so far with just a couple of significant cold fronts pushing through. There are certainly more to come, but at least for the near future the weather looks great. Fishing has been good too, so here is what I've been up to...
November 15th was the last day to keep Grouper in our waters. Although we can't keep them now, the keeper Grouper have been biting well. We've been getting them in 18 to 35 feet of water. There are plenty of short fish as well, but it's still fun to battle with them. I prefer cut pinfish or sardines but they will eat almost anything you drop when they are biting.

Trout are showing up along the islands in St. Joseph sound and surrounding waters. To protect this wonderful resource, they are closed in the south region until January 1st. I am still netting sardines on the beaches and having the most success using them for the Trout. Freelining has worked well but floating baits under a cork in the shallows works great also. Sometimes I can spot Trout laying in the sandy potholes and fire a bait right into the hole from a distance. They usually don't hesitate to chase and eat the bait immediately. White or chartreuse colored jigs with a 1/8 jighead has been getting results too.

Redfishing has improved tremendously! They really moved into the area, or at least started cooperating. I am favoring the lower tides to concentrate them in the sandy holes, just like the Trout. However, the higher tides have allowed them to school with the Mullet. I have been able to locate some large Mullet schools in Clearwater and focus my efforts on Redfishing, since Reds tend to school with the Mullet. While foraging on grass and algae, Mullet will flush out little baits that the Redfish chase and eat. There is also safety in numbers on the flats when the Sharks and Dolphin come into feed. Reds find protection by blending into the Mullet school. I know I've explained this before, but there are several newcomers to my report lately. Again, smaller pinfish under a cork is my favorite, but the sardines are getting hit too.

Kingfish and Mackerel seemed to have passed on by. We had a few good days but untimely cold fronts kept them moving to deeper waters and eventually to the south. We will have to wait til spring and their return north to hope to see many numbers of these fish.

Over the next few weeks I expect to see some brisk mornings with beautiful, mild afternoons. I love this time of year. The changing weather, when not too drastic, seems to get the Trout and Redfish moving and eating. If you are planning a trip to the area for the holidays, please call to reserve your day on the water. You may need a break from everything else... Let's go fishing! 727-365-7560 or e-mail

Captain Brian Caudill

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