November fishing forecast by Captain Van Hubbard

Fishing is great and November should be even better.<br />
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Even as our economy is struggling our fishing is awesome! Fuel costs are down significantly and fall fish migrations are in full swing locally. We have schools of baitfish minnows off our shores and hungry gamefish aggressively feeding on them. Spanish and king mackerel, little tunny, sharks, and huge bull redfish are all near shore in 20 – 30 feet of water. Inside both snook and redfish are biting. Speckled trout closes now for two months. Some cobia and tripletail are showing up, with more coming. We are already catching some pompano and permit plus a couple of surprise bonefish! Tarpon are hit and miss but can be hot. <br />
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I fished the Boca Grande area last week and we caught all the king and Spanish mackerel we wanted. Captain Bill Miller came down to shot a TV Show for his “Hooked on Fishing” series on Wednesday the 15th of October, and we enjoyed red hot action for almost three hours. Debbie Miller landed a huge redfish about 22 pounds with the beautiful colors of Gulf fish. We hooked several spinner sharks and broke them off because no one wanted to fight em. Our bite would shift back and forth from macks to kings with occasional redfish schools popping up. East winds draw bait and fish into the beach.<br />
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Our Charlotte Harbor snook and redfish have been cooperative. Snook are scattered from the beaches all the way to the back country and creeks. Many are small but a twenty plus inch fish is still fun. I still prefer “lures by God” or live minnows, if I can cast net em. They do most of the work for us and give us an early warning when your baitfish gets scared and runs around. Just remember that lures let you get started earlier and catch plenty of quality fish. The newer breeds of finishes offer lifelike finishes to fool even smart snook. Master your retrieve techniques with practice. Experiment with short casts and observe how your rod movement reflects in the lures actions. Remember that braids do not stretch and it is easy to over work your presentation. Your lure is supposed to be injured and easy to catch not jumping a yard at a time. Many lures entice bites with vibrations so you need to understand how your gear works to maximize results.<br />
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Redfish are scattered also but many bigger fish are working outside to join up with the breeder schools in the Gulf. These are the schools of oversized fish that start off up around the Turtle Bay type areas then drop out to the deeper edges and move westward. Our local fish will drop into deeper pot holes on cooler mornings and feed aggressively up into shallow grass flats on incoming tides. Outgoing tide fish are following food fish downstream in funnels that carry food and water to staging areas for fish to gather awaiting a reverse water flow to return to the flats. Food is carried by current flow to fish by falling flows but fish feed up to hunt food on incoming flows. Oyster bars and mangrove shorelines are best during the last of the higher tides. <br />
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Speckled trout are closed to harvest now, until New Years day; because trout are so delicate we do not recommend targeting them now.<br />
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Cobia and tripletail will hold on any floating debris, especially the stone crabs trap buoys in Gulf waters. I like to use my trolling motors to ease up into casting range and carefully present a bait or lure to them. Lures and flies are great here. Your first cast is important because the can be scared off!<br />
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Pompano and their cousin’s permit are welcome treats as they are fun, challenging and maybe the best eating fish we have. They pull as strong as jacks for excitement but taste awesome. I like to use custom pompano jigs you have the old traditional round head with small hook or the newer metal ones like Doc’s goofy Jigs. Colors can be important; white seams to work best in the Gulf. I guess it looks like a sand flea. Yellows, pink and even chartreuse all produce for us so I mix and try different hues and concentrate on whatever works today.<br />
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We did enjoy some spectacular tarpon fishing in October and usually get a hot bite in the Gulf with the major south migrations. It is hard to guess exactly when but it is fun if you get lucky and hit it; we frequently find silver kings a nuisance when king fishing. <br />
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Do not procrastinate or miss the hot action ‘ole man” winter is knocking. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard. <www.captvan.com> <br />
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Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946

941-468-4017

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