November in Miami is one of my favorite months for many reasons, the weather is crisp, cool and perfect, the fishing is going off with a number of species entertaining anglers and it’s Thanksgiving. In November we see the water temperatures start to drop, bait schools overrun the bay and all manner of predators gorge themselves on the fresh supply of protein; predators such as snook, tarpon, sharks, jacks, mackerel, bluefish, snapper and more.
What are the best areas to fish? Well, the short answer is anywhere the bait is. The longer answer is, creeks, shorelines, inlets and grass flats. The key here is to “match the hatch”, meaning use the bait or lures imitating the prevailing bait in the area, namely pilchards and mullet. When fishing creeks, I like fishing early morning using live bait with the main species caught being snook. Top water lures and soft plastics will get bites but live bait will certainly out fish lures. As soon as it gets bright, say 9 am, you’ll notice a drop in the fish activity so get out early and take advantage of the low light and hot bite. When fishing inlets, pay close attention to the path the bait schools are taking and position yourself accordingly since you want to be in the middle of the intercept zones. Over grass flats I generally use lures to catch trout, ladyfish, bluefish, snapper and even sharks this time of year. I prefer small lipped plugs in chrome and chrome and black with a steady retrieve and if there are fish in the area, they’ll eat your lures all day long.
On to a different topic. This is the month that we take one day to express our thanksgiving for all God has blessed us with but in reality I suspect most of us express our thanksgiving more often. It’s easy to take for granted all we are blessed with as we focus more on what we don’t have or what we need to accomplish or how late we are running but the important thing this month is to focus on what we have. Just by virtue of the fact that we get to go fishing means we are blessed with health, friends/family and financial resources to actually enjoy a day of fishing, many times in our own boats. As we take a cursory look at the world around us, not many people can enjoy leisure time like we do in this country since we are not involved in civil wars, under the foot of a dictator, dealing with a famine or a number of other plights that others around the world deal with.
A good client of mine and I were recently fishing and having a conversation when the topic of riches came up. In the course of our conversation he said something that resonated within me and has stayed at the forefront of my thoughts ever since. Matt told me “Mo, remember, no matter how wealthy you are you can only have one good woman at a time, one good glass of wine at a time, and one good cigar at a time so live like you are the richest man in the world.” While I am not a materialistic type of guy, I do have a tendency of letting “the moment” pass me by. What Matt told me has made me focus on enjoying the moment no mater what that moment may be, whether it’s hooked up to a nice fish, spending time with my daughter, enjoying my girlfriend’s laughter or taking a drive to the grocery store. Indeed each moment we have is special and precious and will never be given to us again. So today, this month and this Thanksgiving Day I will be thankful for the life I have been given, the way I get to live it and the special moments that I get to enjoy because once a moment is gone we will never get it back. So take this time to enjoy the moment and live like your are the richest person in the world.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Capt. Mo Estevez