November16th 2018 Fishing Report
CONDITIONS: This is a Holiday Week and the first caution is that it will be super busy on the water (with some dependency on the weather). The general fall chill down will continue and you will need that light jacket to fend off the mid 50’s to the low 60’s temperatures early morning. That will tend to dip the now 80 degrees water temperatures and think you’ll be looking at the low 70’s come late week…..especially in the mornings. These fluctuating water temperature changes are not radical enough to switch on the “cold water species invasion”. Now along with those substantive drops in temperature will come the gusty winds that coming late weekend will be doing twenty knots out of the east. That will upset the holiday week fishing applecart for those planning some nearshore or offshore trips. Could well get bouncy. To round out the fishing conditions you will face, the tides even though heading to a full moon late week will be moderate both ways and should enhance opportunity especially the backwater creeks and bays.
BACKWATER: The state of the water (fouled or clear) has become a dominant factor back here after we dealt with the devastating red tide and algae intrusions. So….happy to report that the water will be clean and fishable in most all backwater venues. Save the open water shallow spots where the gusty wind late week may stir up the clarity. Most all reports indicate that the “summer” fish are still quite active and thankfully more sizable than we experienced during those scorching summer days. Look for continued action on mangrove snapper on most all waterway edges with good tidal current flow working shrimp tight to bottom structure. Ditto on pompano in the Passes (all three) on the early incoming and late outgoing working tipped jigs tight to bottom on a tidal drift. Also might see some keeper size (12”O) sheepshead beginning to show along the Marco River docks and pilings and then along the connecting waterways. Trick here is shrimp to bottom on soft lift technique.
NEARSHORE: Positive point here….will get bouncy with the gusty winds in the Gulf proper late week but with the winds out of the east the first and second reefs will be in the lee and enjoy a little less vigorous sea conditions. There you will have a good chance on both lane and mangrove snapper working tipped weighted jigs just off the bottom post a good block chum effort. The chum will also draw pelagics (mackerel, bluefish, jacks etc) on the surface for some exciting action on flashy jigs on wire leader tipped with shrimp on a fast retrieve. If you can make it out to the Five Mile Reef area you could add the possibility of red and gag grouper action with most undersized and an exciting chance at a barracuda to the top water that will chase a artificial vinyl eel trolled quickly over the artificial reef mounts.
OFFSHORE: Caution to all on afternoon sea conditions…..could get rough. With colder water now dominant north of us (think Panhandle of Florida) the pelagic migration to wintering grounds in the Keys will pick up speed and we will see visits of kingfish, cobia, permit, tarpon and sharks to the deep wrecks and reefs that are holding bait. So this is the time to take the risk of fishing deep with live bait tethered in a good chum slick tight to a wreck or reef showing bait action on the finder. Insure you have the major rigs and ground tackle aboard for BIG action. On the way out and back, good idea to set a lookout visually scanning the area around the crab pots looking for what looks like a floating piece of paper in the water…..that’s likely a tripletail sunning. Double back and toss some tipped dark color jigs for some great action and delicious tablefare. tger