Hernando County By: Capt. Gary Strickland

Welcome to November! Changing weather means changing fishing tactics to be successful. Our inshore aquatic species have begun collecting near warmer water sources in order to survive the cooler months of the Winter. Not only the game fish take part in this cycle, but the bait fish also seek shelter in warmer water. In Hernando County, we have some of the shallowest waters along the Nature coast; therefore, our water temperature can drop very quickly. One or two chilly nights can take the water temp down 10 degrees or more. This cycle happens about the same time every year, but it can vary by a few weeks.

From November on, the water temperature will play a huge factor in where these fish can be caught. Redfish are more tolerable to the cooler water and can be seen moving around the islands, as well as, in creeks. Trout are less tolerant to the temperature change and tend to school up in warmer parts of water. Snook are the least tolerable to cool water and tend to be sedentary creatures on the very cold days. Snook are actually warm water tropical fish and wouldn’t survive if it weren’t for the warm water our springs provide, which creates refuge for this species.

November has some of the most beautiful fishing weather all year – not too hot and not yet too cold. This is a great time of year to throw artificial baits and lures. Trout love a soft plastic and will hit a wide variety of colors. I, typically, have success with a white colored bait or the Hot Chicken jerk baits. Depending on water depth, an 1/8 or 1/4 ounce jig head should do the trick.

Snook and redfish will also hit soft plastics, but I really like throwing the 808 colored MirrOdine lure. We also use a lot of shrimp and creek chubs in November. Creek chubs can pretty much be found in any creek inlet with a little grass or structure. Take advantage of the cooler weather and practice throwing those cast nets! Snook tend to hit best on a large creek chub–one of their favorites. Trout and redfish cannot resist a nice size shrimp floating by on a popping cork. Remember to give your cork a little tug every once in a while to make that popping noise to attract fish.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow anglers and families. Stay safe out there and catch some fish!

Tight lines everyone.