November is a Great Time to Fish

By Jonie Maschek

Children start looking forward to Christmas in December but anglers love to see November arrive as there are fish of every specie in the local waterways.

This is the month kingfish start running. With the cooler air, anglers should have a phenomenal season catching kingfish. Often anglers smoke kingfish but one angler told me that you need one over 25 to 40 pounds for a good smoker.

Grouper move out of the deep in closer to shore.

Cobia are making their winter run. They are staying near the warm waters around TECO. I have had them around me all the time because of the warm weather. They are fun to catch.

Redfish migrate into huge herds making a cooper glow in the water as they amble along searching for food.

Trout have flooded the flats and weave in-and-out of the seagrass.

Look for snook now because they will soon be searching for a winter hideout in a deep hole or up some back water canal. Snook season ends Dec. 15.

Floridaís winters are not like the ones in other states but when our temperature drops below the 70s the fish begin to move. In this cooker weather they come alive and search for food.

Bait that wouldnít work this summer will work now. Try spoons, lures and all the artificial baits. The fish are hungry.

Live shrimp is usually a sure thing to use if going after grouper. You can use frozen bait too. Fish have been know to love frozen sardines.

Live worms are always better for bass fishing but many use rubber worms and land one on each cast.

I see some brackish water around the mouth of the Little Manatee River. This water is warm because of a tannic acid content and a larger amounts of organic matter and is a haven for fish migrating to warmer waters.

If you donít have a large boat, it might be best to try the rivers instead of the Bay.

Blue crabs are available this time of the year. I have stuffed tomatoes with blue crab topped with herb dressing along with smoked mullet. I was at a birthday party for angler Mike Abbey where the food was all from the sea except for his cake.

Did you know that records of sardine fishing date back to 495 A.D. I couldnít find the exact time that sardine fishing started in America, but I do know that it was a stable diet of the Indians when the early colonists arrived. The state of Maine fills 200 million cans of sardines annually. The first plant started in Maine in 1871. Today, they supply more than 50 percent of the sardines consumed in the United States. This is a little fish with a big flavor an excellent source of high quality protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. I have always found that anglers should have at least one can aboard when they go fishing. If you run out of bait or get hungry, you can eat them.

This week one angler complained about all the new construction and houses coming into the Ruskin area. I wondered what this had to do with fishing when he said, ďAll them people have found out that we have the best fishing spot in the world. We are going to be overcrowded and there wonít be a spot left around here to fish in peach and quite.Ē

Where ever you fish, be it Simmons Park, Manatee or Alafia rivers or Tampa Bay, you will make a catch.

Donít fish alone and donít catch more than you can use. Wear your life jacket and watch out for one another.

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