BACKCOUNTRY / BAY / INSHORE: This month the trout, redfish, and flounder bite will be incredible! Trout are aggressively feeding to put on weight ahead of the more inactive winter months. Casting a top-water lures at daylight and dusk will provide plenty of action. Live bait will do great anytime especially free lined with no weight. Hook them in the tail to stay on top, or in the head or nose to make them swim down. Pitching your lure/bait of choice around the docks in the bay will produce some nice redfish and where there is one, there are usually several, so be patient and work each dock well. Around the Hathaway Bridge some big bull reds are being caught on live bait and jigs, on and near the bottom. The pass, on the outgoing tide, is a good place as well. Mangrove snapper and a few sheepshead are being found near rocks and other shallow structure. Use a light weight bottom rig with live shrimp suspended just off the bottom for best results. Flounder are staging around the pass and in the deep holes and drop offs in the bay making their way toward the gulf. Soft plastic jigs fished on the bottom in those holes and ledges will provoke founder to strike and a live bull minnow or finger mullet is hard for them to resist.
OFFSHORE: Red snapper is closed again but gag grouper is open and there are plenty to be had. Also be prepared to deal with a few amberjack which is also closed for harvest, but don’t forget about the mangrove and other species of snapper that can be kept. Remember to have a rod rigged up with a leader and a live bait for king mackerel that are around and the occasional cobia. Be sure to check the regulations before heading out.
CAPT. DARYL SHUMATE
Liquid Native Charters