Capt. Joel Gant
November 11, 2015
Hernando Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Ok fishheads, now that turkey day is over and we all put on at least 5 pounds, its time to get back to some serious fishing. The fishing in November was great; December should continue to be some fantastic fishing. Fish know the winter and cold weather is coming so they will be doing the same thing we did on Thanksgiving, "fatting up". What does this mean for us anglers you ask? Great fishing from inshore to offshore, anglers will be able to target resident and migrating fish. Gag grouper fishing has been the hot fish. With the Gulf temperature cooling off, we have been catching the Gags anywhere from 8 to 30 feet of water. Tackle we use is a very stout rod with at least 60 lb mono, anywhere from 2 to 6 oz lead weight and a 7/0 circle hook. Bait of choice; frozen threadfin, cut mullet or live bait like pinfish, grunts or sand perch. Just remember the regulations; 2 per person and the size have to be at least 22" to the end of the tail (got it right this time Gary). On my charters and hearing from other fishermen, a lot of groupers are being missed. I can't explain enough about how to be ready for the hit from a grouper when bottom fishing. You must use circle hooks when reef fishing so when you first feel the bite, slowly reel till you feel the fish. When the grouper starts to pull, reel for all your worth then lift the rod (if you can) and continue to reel. The first thing a grouper will do when hooked is try to run into a rock for cover so you have to be quick on moving the fish off the bottom. Again reel, do not set the hook bass master style or you'll lose a lot of fish. Also the season closes December 3rd (the 2nd being the last day to keep fish). Even after the season closes, catching and releasing is still a blast with these very hard fighting fish.
Inshore fish is still going strong. The sea trout are moving into the shallow flats, so that means its one of the best times to catch a big gator trout. Look for trout in the 3 to 10 foot grass flats with spotty sand patches. I like to drift these flats with a ¼ oz jig and either a 3 inch Gulp shrimp or a live select shrimp. Once you get a bite, try to work that area, trout school up and you can catch many in an area. If the ones you catch are small, move to another area. I have found that trout seem to school in size, move a little and you may size up the school. Look for redfish and snook in the backcountry along oyster beds, rocky areas and the mangroves. Look for moving water and structure. Both are key to finding these fish. I'm always looking for reports and pictures. You can email me or stop by my website and become a "FISHHEAD".
Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family!
Capt. Joel operates Fishdaddy Charters out of Hernando Beach, he knows the local waters like the back of his hand, and works both inshore and offshore trips. You can reach him at 352-279-1615 or visit his website, www.fishdaddycharter.com
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