Novemberís temperatures were up and down all month. Itís very typical for this time of year to have these kinds of conditions. Cold fronts will come through and cool things down and the sun comes out and warms it back up. The key is to fish the warm up when fish are more active.
There were plenty of warm days and fishing was outstanding in the Clearwater and Dunedin areas. All trips were catching 20+ inch trout, redfish, mackerel, some flounder and a few pompano. Lots of other species, like ladyfish and small sharks made a showing as well.
Most of our fish were caught on live shrimp either fished on the bottom or from a float. Even the mackerel and sharks were crashing the shrimp. The bigger trout were caught in three to four feet of water on the moving tide. They like to lay up in grass and sand type bottom and ambush their food. As the water temps cool further, the trout population will increase and the big gator trout will become more aggressive.
Below are a few typical trips that summed up the month.
John, Diane, Larry and Emily came out on a perfect November day. They landed some nice trout fishing over grass flats in Clearwater Bay. We moved north to Dunedin and found the large gator trout. All anglers scored fish over 20 inches and the biggest was caught by Emily and measured in at 22 inches. Diane added a number of redfish and John finished the day with a small shark.
Brian and son, Patterson, came aboard to catch their biggest trout ever. It didnít take long before Patterson notched his 21 inch trout. Then Brian found a nice 20 inch fish. Both anglers added a couple dozen additional trout and a few redfish to top off the day.
Russ brought his dad Al, and daughter Cali, along on a beautiful November day. The tide was extremely low due to the winds that were blowing from the north and north east. We checked out some back bays where the low water level had formed three to four foot deep pools. The fish will drop off the flats into these pools and wait till the tide returns to fill the dry areas. A dozen trout and a few small redfish were caught by all using free lined shrimp.
We moved to Dunedin and used the rising tide to fish on various grass flats in search of gator trout and redfish. Cali landed the first trout that measured 21 inches. Dad and grandpa followed catching several dozen trout and 5 fish were over 20 inches. Al finished the day boating a 17 inch flounder, 16 inch pompano and several redfish.
If November is any indication of what our winter fishing is going to be, stay tuned a lot more of these kinds of trips are to come.
Capt. Gary Burch
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