Rivers to Bay Report By: Capt. John Rivers

Tampa Bay has year-round fishing and November is another outstanding month to fish the flats, rivers and deep channels of the Bay. As November slides in, the cold fronts get stronger and the temps dip; therefore, the water temps drop to the middle and lower 70’s, which triggers the fish to start feeding. As the bite fires off, we’re targeting snook, redfish, jack crevalle, trout, sheepshead, cobia and more.

One major bonus to fishing Tampa Bay in November is that when you find a few fish, there’s a good chance that the fish will hang out there a while. During the warmer days of November, fish will be staged up on the flats. During the negative tides in November, look for snook and reds in pot holes and other depressions. If we get a cold front, look for fish on drop offs and near the mouth of the rivers. If it’s cold for a few days, look for snook, reds and trout up in the rivers; but, when we get a few days of warmer weather in November, some of those fish will make their way back out onto the flats.

Bait is usually readily available in November; it’s still on the flats, unless we get a few major cold fronts, then it will be on the markers, bridges and at the Skyway. If you don’t feel like tossing the net for white bait, you can get live shrimp and/or toss artificials. Live shrimp works great in Tampa Bay in the winter, because that’s what the fish feed on naturally in the winter months. Winter is when I bring out the artificials for trout, snook and reds, and I usually do very well.

Another bonus to November fishing is that you don’t have to get out at the crack of dawn to get to the fish. When targeting snook, reds and trout in November, you can wait a bit and let the sun come up and warm up the flats while the fish stage up and get warm on the shallows near the mangroves.

There are plenty of shopping days left until Christmas, so make a little time to get out on the water and go fishing! I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.

Tight Lines. Capt. John

Capt. John Rivers operates Rivers to Bay Fishing Charters out of Tampa Bay and Tarpon Springs. With 18 years guiding experience and over 40 years of fishing knowledge, he can assure you a professional / fun fishing adventure. Single or multi boat trips available. www.tampabayinshoreguides.com