November's end is near and the so-called wintertime fishing in the bay area is in full swing and on fire. But you can still catch plenty of redfish, trout, jacks, ladyfish and a lot of snook at the end November. How crazy is that? Winter offers great fishing action for kids and adults. It's one of my favorite times because you have so many options. Trout are all over every grass flat in 2-6 feet of water. It's better to fish high tide on the grass flats and low tide inside the creeks and channels. The best baits: whitebait, live shrimp free-lined or under a cork, or artificials such as paddle or curly tails in a natural color on a jighead from a 1/32-ounce to a quarter-ounce, depending on the depth. A slow retrieval with an occasional twitch produces the most hits. Redfish schools are still around the flats in 1-2 feet. When the water drops out, reds will move into the deeper potholes. I like to target redfish along the grass edges, potholes or oyster bars using shrimp, artificials or a fly. Even with the warmer weather, snook are in their winter haunts such as creeks and rivers. But the bite is still strong. It doesn't matter if you're fishing Little Manatee River or Weedon Island, the bite is on, though later in the day, after the water has warmed.
Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at [email protected]