Weather wonders: The weather seems to keep working in our favor this month. While a few cold fronts have pushed our way, the hard cold stuff has stayed away. With this in mind, all I can say is get out and fish!
Bait is still all over the flats and is the perfect size. The water temperature is hovering between 69 and 71 degrees, and the fish seem to be stocking up for winter.
Hook the snook: Snook have moved into the deeper holes around the mangrove line and deep water canals. The snook bite seems to be going off a little later in the morning, once the sun gets higher in the sky. If you are going to be chumming with bait only throw a few pieces at a time. This will be all it takes to get them fired up. You will still want to downsize your tackle as the water is clearer this time of year. I have found that 10- to 15-pound braid and no more then 20-pound fluorocarbon with a No. 1 hook has been producing the most hookups.
Ride the tide: The reds are on the flats in schools of 20 to 30 fish. Work the large, deeper edges of the East Bay flats on low tide and follow them in as the tide gets higher. The bait of choice has been cut ladyfish or pinfish. This allows the fish to come to you without spooking them. Once you catch one or two, throw out a bat full of cut bait and it will keep them around.
Try out trout: If you are looking for a consistent bite then I would target trout. Your best opportunity will be to find a deep hole on low water and get as shallow as possible, fishing out to the deep hole. As the tide starts to come in, you'll get a bite on almost every cast. This makes for great fun, especially with kids.
Capt. Mike Gore can be reached at Mike Gore Charters, (813) 235-9579 or firstname.lastname@example.org.