PORT CANAVERAL: November around Port Canaveral can be a magical month- IF we get good weather conditions. Often when September and October are rough and windy, this can be the case. If we get this beautiful weather, and the seas are less than three feet, get ready for some fantastic fishing along the beaches and near shore waters outside of the Port. Anglers can get out into the Bight by boat and find Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Ladyfish, Shark, Redfish, tripletail, tarpon, and Snook. These predators are usually feeding in schools of baitfish that are migrating southward toward their wintering grounds in southern Florida. Most of these species will hit live baitfish rigged on a ¼ to ½ ounce Saltwater Assassin brand jig head or a sliding sinker rig. Rapala X-Rap minnows in the size 8, 10, or 12 cm sizes are also very popular lures to troll or cast. When conditions are right, anglers fishing south of the Port can cast lures or live baits from shore and do quite well. Flounder are another species that can a possibility near the rock jetties on some days. Anglers will often find good numbers of flounder inside of the Port Canaveral ship turning basins on days when the wind is blowing strong. For Tripletail anglers usually fish along the ships channel buoys, or look for color changes or floating debris and weeds in the 20 to 50-foot depths. Toss a live shrimp to the fish hanging around these features and you should get a positive response. I like to use a 2/0 VMC circle hook attached to a piece of 30-pound test Sufix fluorocarbon for this type of fishing. I generally do not use a weight on this rig so the shrimp will swim more naturally around the weeds or other floating structure that the tripletail may be hanging around. Pompano and whiting are normally abundant along the surf zones from the tip of the cape southward to Patrick Air Force Base and these tough little fish hit goofy jigs or small 1/8 and ¼ ounce HookUp style jig tipped with a piece of shrimp, whole sand flee, or a ½-inch long piece of Fish Bite attractant.
BANANA RIVER LAGOON: Trout, black drum, and redfish are the “big three” that anglers will be targeting this month. The Speckled Trout and Redfish will normally strike top-water plugs or sub-surface plugs near mangrove covered shorelines. You are more likely to find black drum around structures like docks or rocky bottom areas in this portion of the lagoon. Look for areas where schools of baitfish are milling around to hold the best numbers of trout. Redfish can also be found around these types of baitfish, but may prefer hanging around with the drum if there is a good shrimp run happening this year. All three species will usually hit live or fresh dead shrimp. Fingerling mullet or 3 to 4-inch pilchards can all be effective too. Pompano can be found along deeper edges of the flats and around islands where glass minnows are schooling. These fish usually like cut clam, oyster, or shrimp best, but have been known to hit a jig once in a while. Look for all of these species to move to channel edges and deeper water areas if we get a cold front or two. The water in these areas will be more stable in temperature than areas out on the open shallow flats.
Capt. Jim Ross
Fineline Fishing Charters