Lake Monroe & St. Johns River Fishing Forecast – November 2023



November 1 – Central Florida Shad and Crappie Derby begins! Visit for complete information.

Lake fishing in November yields big black crappie. Deep river bends don’t frequently produce big fish until after the second cold front. In Lake Harney, you’ll find folks drifting minnows under a bobber on windy days and limits will happen – same for Lake Monroe and Jessup. During the full and new moon phases the lily pads near deep water will be the place to find slab sized fish. For the folks trolling, speed is important. Longline speeds in the 1.0 to 2.0 mph range do well with 1/16th to 1/8th oz. jigs, a little slower for spider rigging .5 to 1.2
mph. Jig colors and depth is also a big factor. Set your baits at dif- ferent depths and change colors until you find what the fish prefer. Heavier jig heads and slower speeds will allow the baits to run deeper. Crappie like to hug the bottom and bite upwards – notice they have up-sloping head and mouth. Crappie jigs that work great in the Derby: Road- runner lures, Mister Crappie, 2” curly tails in all colors, mylar jigs, and ice jigs. Colors: Pink, green, chartreuse, red/white, black, blue/white, yellow, orange, purple, and combinations thereof. Good luck it only takes one fish to win!

In December we will look for the return of hickory shad, American shad, and blue back herring for their 4-year life cycle returning to the waters they were born. Derby shad – they love small spoons and shad darts. Although the shad are not supposed to eat during their spawning run, they bite!