Now that water temps are consistently in the 60’s, anglers will see good action in the shallows from “Gator” sized trout and upper slot redfish in and around pot holes on most shallow flats. And the shorter days and frequent cold fronts will begin to stack numbers of snook up in the backcountry & residential canal systems.
These lower tide phases are perfect for tossing Z-Man Scented Jerk Shadz and Paddlerz, Texas rigged on our shallow flats. Gliding these profiles in sandy holes will produce “big time” as fish fatten up before winter sets in for good. I recommend utilizing at least a 4/0 rigging hook and possibly consider a 5/0 to guarantee solid hook sets!
Here’s some of the action you can expect in the shallows:
Trout- The larger trout are still responding to lazy walked top water plugs like the Mirrolure She Dog. But, definitely give the Z-Man Jerk Shadz ample opportunity in shallow pot holes this month… colors like Red Bone, Houdini and Gold Rush will be the call. In the evening, look around dock lights in canals near productive trout flats for solid action on trout in the 17″ to 23″range. The dock light trout gobble up Mini-dines and Z-Man Curly Tails when worked through the shadow lines…
Redfish- Most flats in our region will have scattered redfish in 1′ to 2′ of water feeding on incoming tides. On cloudy days definitely use the Aqua Dream “Crab” Spoon or Green version but on the bright days it’s hard to beat a Z-Man Minnowz in Red Bone or Houdini on an 1/8 oz. jig head. I’m seeing good numbers of redfish staged up & feeding in areas where you notice wading herons and ibis in bunches. Plus, also look for flats that are holding an abundance of sheepshead and big mullet and your opportunities will go way up!
Flounder- One of the nice by-products of combing through sandy pot holes on the flats for redfish and trout, is it often produces lots of Flounder in November & December. Lures that are effective on the Flounder vary but the new BTB Jig from Z-Man and the Z-Man Shrimpz (Pearl White) on a 1/4 oz. jig head… work well. Last week we caught several flounder on every charter and that should improve going into December.
Snook- Much to my surprise snook fishing has been pretty good. I’m focusing on high outgoing water in back bays with Mirrolure hard baits and Z-Man Jerk Shadz on 1/4 oz. jig heads. Colors like Pearl White & Nite Glow have had solid results for snook anglers as of late. On a good tide you’ll have some fantastic action probably through the end of this month barring any arctic air moving into the region. I’m promoting to all my clients and students that we continue to treat snook as a “catch & release” gamefish target only. The snook are too valuable to our fishery and local economy to be taken to the filet table… please use common sense!
Here’s a quick reminder, don’t forget about school that I’ll be doing on December 13th at the IGFA Hall of Fame in Dania Beach, FL. These classes fill up fast so please register on my “School Page” here on my website or email me at FlatsClasswithCA@gmail.com to secure a seat soon.
Until next time, keep them rods bent!