Port Canaveral & Banana River – November 2022


PORT CANAVERAL INSHORE: Let the cool winds blow! This month is all about cooling water temperatures and the plethora of species that will show up in our near-coastal waters around the Port Canaveral area. My favorite of these is tripletail. These odd-looking fish are some of the most fun and tasty fish we target all year. Look for them around any type of floating debris, along slicks or scum lines, around buoys, and under many of the docks inside of the Port. A nice live shrimp or fairly large pilchard will be what you want to adorn your circle hook or jig head with to get these fish to strike.

Two other species that will come into play with the northerly fetch of the November winds are pompano and whiting. Like the tripletail, these are also great tasting fish. I try to target them on sunny days in the Canaveral Bight area. They tend to school up just outside of the surf break and will hit goofy jigs, short-tailed pompano jigs, and cut shrimp or sand fleas. You can also find these fish around the jetties at Port Canaveral and inside some of the turning basins, at times, if the water on the beach gets too dirty.

Lastly are the “hold-over” species from the fall mullet run. These would be bluefish, jack, redfish and snook. These, and a few other species that will undoubtedly join them, can be found along the deeper beach troughs, and near the north and south jetties. Live croakers, fingerling mullet, and large pilchards rigged on a knocker rig are fantastic baits to use for all of these predators.

BANANA RIVER LAGOON: If things continue to go well for the water quality in the Banana River Lagoon, it could be a hot spot for redfish, trout, black drum and snook this month. Last month’s daily deluge, topped off with excessive rainfall from Hurricane Ian, had our monthly rainfall totals pushing 25- to 28-inches in most places. As of this article’s deadline, this stormwater had not yet adversely affected our redfish and trout bite, but the water was starting to change for the worse, so only time will tell the eventual outcome. Let’s look at the positives, and try to set up a game plan for success in this estuary.

Live shrimp or fingerling mullet will be two very important types of baits to have with you on your outings. The snook, larger trout and big redfish will be focused on large meals rather than smaller ones as they will still be trying to pack on some additional weight in preparation for the upcoming winter months. The larger specimens will want to feed on larger offerings and expend as little energy as possible this month. Cut baits can sometimes be as effective as live ones when targeting fish around mangrove islands, channel edges and deeper drop offs along the flats. Smaller fish will strike live shrimp around mangrove edges, docks, and other types of cover. Trout and slot-sized redfish will also forage tight to the shorelines where the dolphin have a harder time getting to them. Look for redfish and snook in particular to “snoop” around looking for a meal. The trout will normally set up an ambush point near a deadfall, rocky outcropping, or other piece of structure when they want to feed. Don’t be afraid to fish along the windy side of an island or shoreline as long as you see mullet working that area. These fish will use the wave action as cover to pounce on unsuspecting prey.

Until next month…Catch a memory!!!

Capt. Jim Ross
Fineline Fishing Charters
(321) 636-3728

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