Capt. Joel Gant
October 3, 2016
Hernando Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Finally we are into November. With some cold fronts, this brings cooler temperatures and cooler water temperatures. What does this all mean? Some of the best fishing of the year. From offshore to inshore all the species are on the move and ready to eat.
Offshore: Gag grouper are being caught all over my region in 10 to 60 feet of water. The stone crab traps are out which creates thousands of chum blocks on the gulfs bottom. I believe these traps draw the fish into these areas. Bottom dropping with live or frozen baits or trolling in these areas can be very productive for these hard fighting fish. Gag grouper regulations are; 2 per person, 24" total length and season closes on Dec 31st. The red grouper season is open and the regulations are; 2 per person, 20" total length. When anchored and bottom fishing, put out a free lined bait as per the kingfish are starting to show up. There is also still some cobia around so keep an eye out for them and have a rig ready to quickly pitch and bait and be ready for a long hard fight. Grunts, sea bass, snappers and hogfish can also be caught in these deeper spots.
Inshore: The inshore bite is really taking off. Look for the redfish just before or after the high tide. They can be found around shallow structure like oyster beds, grassy flats and mangrove shorelines. Use cut baits or shrimp under a strike indicator. Snook can also be found in the same areas as the redfish. With the cooler water, the trout are also moving into the shallows. I like to target them with a ¼ oz jig head with either a gulp shrimp or a soft plastic jerk bait.
A little tip from a recent charter I had. This trip was a near shore trip on my 2400 Ranger bayboat. On the start of the trip I decided to try drift fishing in about 8 feet of water in a sandy/grassy bottom for trout. We were bouncing some gulp baits on the bottom with only a few trout caught. We just couldn't get a good bite going, I had been there the day before and did well. I then decided to make a total change. We moved to another one of my spots and started bottom fishing. With in a few minutes we started catching some nice keeper gag groupers. Tip being, if one thing doesn't work, try something completely different.
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Capt. Joel Gant 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. Check him out on face book or you can reach him at (352) 279-1615. Visit his website, www.fishdaddycharter.com
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