850-326-7706 Book Now

November Wrap Up

November Wrap Up

What can I say?  November might have been the best month for sight fishing and BIG trout on my Maverick.  The cooler temps brought the clean water I was hoping it would.  Fish have started working into the rivers and creeks, their “normal” winter homes.  The reds have been getting skinny and the trout fattening up. 

This day my client sight fished reds and trout on spinning gear and fly.  We started on dead low-negative tide easing down the grass flat looking into the sand holes (hint #1) for fish like shadows.  As the sun rose it gave us much greater visibility and we sealed the deal on some nice mid-slot reds.


As you can see in the picture of the red, I have stepped down the size of my bait to the 3.5” Slayer Inc SST (hint #3).  While we were still able to pull a few good fish with the slightly larger SST XL, as skinny as we were finding fish and clear as water is stepping down gear seemed to make a noticeable increase in our hook ups.  I’ll do another post going into my different rod and line set up we use this time of year.


I had several other great trips through the month, big trout and plenty of good reds.  Yet on a day “off” I took a good friend of mine who I don’t get to fish with enough.  We had an EPIC day.   One of the areas I’d fished the day prior with clients was holding some very nice trout. The day prior my clients landed a 25” trout plus several more good fish, and after I dropped them off for the day I went back out (hint #4…if your guide says its too perfect not to keep fishing you might want to stay).  That evening in 3 hours I landed eleven trout over 23” including one that was 27.25”.  After hearing that my buddy Dale didn’t need much convincing to join me. 

We literally lost count of how many over 20” trout we caught and started only counting them if the were over 24”.  There we times where we were doubled up on 25’’ fish but the final number was 18 fish over 24” that afternoon (hint #5).  I’d tell you what I was using but it was literally everything in my box.  This was one of those magical days where the fish were chewing on anything.  We even had a redfish who had what appeared to be about an 8-10” mullet lodged in his throat, yet still hate the Mirrolure!

Key Points-

  • Look at tides and pay attention to mid-morning lows. This will expose oyster bars, sand holes and the shallow flats heating them up. When the tide comes back in the fish will move up seeking the warmth and the bait.
  • Consider down sizing leader and bait. Even slowing retrieve down a little. We were throwing 12# fluorocarbon leaders and 15# Power Pro braid main line.
  • While we have been catching fish all day, the afternoons seem to be more productive with the recent moon phase and temperatures.
  • If you book a trip with me, and I suggest we stay…. Its usually a decent idea.


I have several days open in December so if you need a day on the water reach out!  I’m also already booking tarpon trips for summer time.  Usually the sooner you book your days the more likely you are at getting a shot a prime days. 

Captain John Swanson