Is that a taste of fall in the air that I am feeling? Well, here in
Florida that is as close as we are going to get. November is upon
us, and for people that fish it usually means eating too much at
Thanksgiving and the Flounder run at Sebastian Inlet. That’s
right this is the month to start fishing for the flatties. A good
number of the smaller Gulf Flounder, AKA: Three Spots, have been moving
in the Inlet over the past few weeks and are still going strong.
Each passing cold front should bring more
flounder out of the river. There have already been reports of a
few bruisers caught, and these reports should increase later in the
month. One thing that is for certain when the doormats start
biting the finger mullet becomes scarce. Finding the right sized
mullet can be the hardest part of flounder fishing. If this is
the case then try other baits like Mud Minnows or Shrimp.
The best flounder rigs consist of a short 10”
mono leader, swivel on one end and a khale style hook on the
other. Attach a sliding egg weight or split shot above the swivel
on your main line and that is all the weight needed. The ideal
rig is to use just enough weight to hold bottom. Key times to
fish for Flounder, if you only have a few hours to kill, are the slack
tides. Flounder like to get up and move around during periods of
slower water. Being a flat fish they are not very streamlined
swimmers and it is a bit of a challenge for them to swim into currents.
Whitey’s is holding their annual Flounder
tournament again this year. Entrance fee is $20 per angler with a
100% payout of all entry fees. The winnings will be split 50%,
30% and 20% for places first through third. You can sing up at
Whitey’s at any time between now and the close of business on December
31, 2012. All results through the tournament will be posted on
the website at whiteysonline.com. So if you think you are a force to be
reckoned with when it comes to catching Flounder, then it is time you
put your money where your mouth is and sign up.
With Snook season in full swing there is a lot
of Fisherman targeting the Linesiders at the Inlet. Bucktails,
jigs and diving plugs have been producing a good number of fish at
night. Live shrimp, pinfish and croakers have been the best bet
recently. Boats drifting the fenders at night have been producing
a lot of fish with the occasional whopper redfish as well. Fish
should be moving in preparing for winter and fattening up. Get
down there before it gets too cold for them.
Another prime species to target this month is
the Pompano in the surf. The Pompano are migrating south for the
winter and if you can intercept them it can be a heated morning on the
beach. Use a double drop Pompano rig, with a pyramid sinker for
weight and bait the hooks with sand fleas, clams or shrimp. Last
year the Sand fleas were almost impossible to find and where they went
no one knows. So far this year there have been a few pods showing up
along the surf line, although they are small…. Which I guess is better
With any good surf fishing comes the
Bluefish. They can be a blast to catch throwing spoons or large poppers
while waiting for the next Pompano to bite. Look for diving birds
or fish busting the surface and target these areas. Bluefish can
be pretty good table fare if handled correctly, bleed them out and
clean them ASAP. If you like smoked fish they are the perfect
candidates. Bluefish do not freeze well and are better fresh, so
only take what you can consume immediately and leave the rest to fight
The river can be productive this time of
year. With the cooler water fish can remain active all day.
Trout and redfish will remain on the flats and can make for a great day
of sight fishing. Live shrimp are bits of choice along with pigs,
pins and mullet. On the colder days try targeting deeper water or
canals where fish lay up for warmth.
Offshore can produce some excellent Wahoo
fishing this month. Trolling in the deeper water over the cones
of the Oculina Bank is a great place to start. Drag a few heavy
weighted lures at a speed just a few knots faster then normal to
encourage an impulse reaction by this fast fish. Any floating
structure is a good bet to troll by for dolphin and wahoo.
Sometimes the morning bite can be the best so get up with the sun and
hit the water early.
Fall is also the sailfish migration in the
Florida Straits. Trolled ballyhoo is a great way to find these
fish. If you can locate a good concentration of them, break out
the spin tackle and drift back some live baits for light tackle action.
As usual, check in at Whitey’s for the
latest reports of rod bending action. Don’t forget to sign up for
the Flounder tournament while you are there. Until next month,