November 6, 2008


Now that fall is in full swing around the Treasure Coast, you can find water temperatures dropping and windy conditions much of the time out on the water. We ended up canceling twice this week and I managed to get out one day that was not so blustery as the others. We can expect similar conditions as the cold fronts work their way through the area on an almost weekly basis now. It's a great time to fish, but can be challenging on some days.

Let's take this week to talk about changing conditions on the river and changing tactics as well. Water temps have begun to drop and that will drive most fish to deeper water, especially in the mornings. Deeper cuts around mangroves, docks and islands will be good places to start in the mornings as the water continues to cool off. As the sun rises and the water warms again, you can find the fish heading back up on the flats to feed and get warm again. Redfish, especially, can be found cruising the flats at high noon during the cooler months of the year. Pompano will be in the deeper areas from three feet and better. Small jigs or live shrimp will work well for them.

Slowing up your retrieve is essential to success this time of year. I like to take DOA shrimp or jerk baits and slowly work them across the flats or around the mangroves. The slower the better as the fishes metabolism slows down and they become lethargic as the water gets cooler. I like three to five feet of water this time of year. They will stay off the edges of the flats and move up onto them as the day wears on. Live or artificial shrimp on popping corks are wintertime fishing staples. I like to put one out the back of the boat while I fish artificials out the front. Gold spoons, suspending lures and jigs are all good lures when the water is cooler.

Fishing docks can be exciting where snook, reds and other species will be hanging to catch an easy meal drifting by. I especially like DOA shrimp for dock fishing. Fish it slow and let it settle on the bottom. When the water is cold, fish the drop offs, channels and docks. It's a great time of year. Changing tactics for the cooler months will help you be more successful. Have fun out there!

This week on the river: Sand perch (mojarra) have invaded the inlet and the catwalks have been full of anglers fishing for them. They are a popular staple this time of year in this area. Live or dead shrimp will get you a feast right now. On the flats, snook, jacks and trout have been in the deeper cuts of the mangroves and flats. There are lots of jacks out there to keep you busy! A few pompano have been caught, but still waiting on them to arrive in numbers.

Tip of the Week: As the cold fronts signal that winter isn't far off, it's important to dress in layers on those cool mornings. Florida is famous for cold nights and hot days and layering can keep you comfortable throughout your day on the water. It can get challenging with the wind and cold, so prepare prior to getting on the water. It's always cooler out there than at home.

As always, remember, fishing is not just another's an ADVENTURE!!

Good Fishing and Be Safe,
Captain Charlie Conner