Saturday, November 18, 2017
Outdoors

East Bay Fishing Report

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Mackerel down, redfish up: With the influx of fresh water from all the recent rains, the large schools of mackerel and sharks seem to have made a mass exodus out of the East Bay area, but just like clockwork, the redfish have begun to get into schools and are roaming the flats looking for easy meals. Redfish will eat a wide variety of baits: live sardines, crabs, shrimp, live pinfish and any other kind of small baitfish. All of the above also work well dead or cut up. The top-producing baits right now are chunks of cut ladyfish and mullet.

Man the mangroves: On the higher tide stages, the fish are up in and around the mangroves. A strategically placed hunk of soaking ladyfish will coax a hungry redfish out of the woods to eat. If it takes three or four casts to get to the right spot, cast away. Once your bait is on the desired spot, leave it alone. Also deploy a couple of extra rods around the boat; this will increase your chances of hooking up.

Snap time: Snapper also have invaded the bay and are on the deeper flats and most range markers or anywhere there is good structure. The eddies behind the bridge pilings are a good place to look. Smallish white bait and shrimp are top baits. Chum with dead bait, using a chum bag with as light a leader as possible and as little weight as possible. Snapper, in my opinion is some of the finest eating fish the bay has to offer. With a little butter and Everglades Seasoning, it is mouth-watering.

Tip: Redfish use their sense of smell to home in on dead bait. If you move the rod tip from the water line to a straight-up position, you have moved the bait a minimum of the length of the rod (most are 7 feet or 7 feet 6 inches). When this happens the fish have to start all over again to find the source of the smells.

Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]

Comments

Captainís Corner: Snook bite remains aggressive

We are in the midst of prefrontal conditions, so there should be good fishing today. Bait seems to have moved on the last full moon and judging by the amount of bait fry that has filtered onto the flats, it spawned also. Load up the wells with the sm...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Calm seas closer to beaches rewards with kingfish

Strong east winds have made it challenging for offshore anglers. The first few miles are quite tolerable since the land buffers the shoreline. After that, sea conditions have been tougher. Anglers searching for kingfish have been rewarded with calm s...
Published: 11/16/17

Captainís Corner: A little wind doesnít stop hot fishing in November

Despite many windy days, November fishing has been amazing. The water is cooling off, and the fish are becoming more aggressive. Itís getting to be the time of year when the cold fronts start to make their way out of the north. When this happens, win...
Published: 11/15/17

Captainís Corner: Fly fishing success possible, even in wind

When your day to fly fish arrives, do you hope for a day without wind? Knowledgeable fly fishers know there are many ways to deal with different wind situations. Avoid open water, and select an area that offers protection. Stay close to shore and use...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Captainís Corner: Low tides and cold fronts make for rewarding fishing

Fall and winter low tides combined with cold fronts passing through can lead to highly rewarding fishing. It takes winds blowing 20-plus miles an hour out of the northeast combined with an astronomical low tide around the new moon and full moon phase...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Captainís Corner: Reef fish abundant offshore; mackerel, kings better near shore

Before this recent cold front, we were able to travel where we wanted, and the calm seas allowed us to make the mistake of running past the best depths for our type of fishing. The 40- to 50-foot depths produced almost nonstop action from reef fish, ...
Published: 11/12/17
Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

The fall king mackerel run is still going strong. The fish have seemed to come in waves; one week there are numerous fish more than 30 pounds, and a week or two later no one can find any more than 20. It also seems the fish are not moving south all t...
Published: 11/11/17

Captainís Corner: Cold front should push fish into backcountry waters

The approaching front is forecast to drop temperatures for a couple of days. This should push more fish into the backcountry rivers and creeks that feed the bay. Once the front passes and the weather stabilizes, fishing should return to normal. This ...
Published: 11/10/17

Captainís Corner: Kingfish domination

With calm seas and water temperature just the way they like it, kingfish will dominate much of the nearshore and offshore activity. Light wind and strong tides from the weekendís full moon have allowed nearshore waters to cleanse, so baits are being ...
Published: 11/08/17
Captainís Corner: November means strong snook fishing

Captainís Corner: November means strong snook fishing

November is the month that moves most inshore fish from the flats to the backcountry creeks, docks and rivers. Itís a month when you can enjoy great weather and great fishing without waking up at the crack of dawn. The South Shore in particular has s...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/09/17