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As I sit and write this fishing report a strong cold front has just pushed through <st1:place>South Florida</st1:place> and our temperatures are quickly dropping into the 60’s and eventually into the upper 50’s. At this point I think we can safely say that summer is over at least until things warm up again because this is south <st1:state><st1:place>Florida</st1:place></st1:state> and our temperatures typically rarely drop below 40 and normally stay a pleasant 70 to 80 degrees right through April. This is the time of the year for fishermen that prefer mild temperatures and a wide variety of fish species to target to get out on the water and try their fishing luck. Fuel prices have dropped by half from what it was when I was forced to raise my rates and I am happy to report that I have lowered my rates accordingly. <o:p></o:p>

Flamingo in <st1:place><st1:placename>Everglades</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>National Park</st1:placetype></st1:place> is going through some changes now as water temperatures slowly drop. Shrimp are migrating through <st1:place><st1:placename>Florida</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Bay</st1:placetype></st1:place> and the <st1:place>Gulf of Mexico</st1:place> and every fish that lives in <st1:state><st1:place>Florida</st1:place></st1:state> bay and the <st1:place>Gulf of Mexico</st1:place> is eagerly waiting for this tasty morsel to swim by their noses. Migratory birds are all over the place and on many days flocks of a thousand white pelicans and hundreds of Rosette spoonbills can be seen close up. Snook, redfish and tarpon are slowly retreating to areas that they will feel more comfortable in when a quick moving cold front moves into <st1:place>South Florida</st1:place>. All of these species will be available through the winter but now they are more likely to be available after a front has passed and water temperatures start to rise. On some of the colder days many of the snook and redfish, black drum and sheepshead will move into the deeper channels and rivers and require baits to be fished near the bottom where the water is a little warmer. These fish feed slower and require more patience then when the water is warm. Sea trout, ladyfish, jacks, bluefish and Spanish mackerel are more plentiful and because the cooler water temperatures are more to their liking these fish will feed eagerly on anything that resembles a live shrimp. On many days this fishing can be non stop! I like to head into the outer reaches of <st1:place><st1:placename>Florida</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Bay</st1:placetype></st1:place> and into The Gulf where I anchor and chum as we fish for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, tripletail, cobias, pompano, jacks, snappers, groupers and sharks. As long as the tide is running and the chum is flowing the fish will be right at the stern and eating everything thrown in the water.

Before this cold front approached fishing in <st1:place>North Biscayne Bay</st1:place> was good for speckled sea trout for catch and release and many of these fish are over two pounds and can be caught on a wide variety of lures and baits. I try to target the sea trout with ¼ ounce Hook Up lures that I tip with a Gulp scented three or four inch shrimp, Rapala Twitchin Raps, X Raps and when the water is calm we through Skitter Walks for those explosive surface strikes and then when I fish natural baits we suspend live shrimp or pilchards under a Cajun Thunder float that attracts the fish right to your bait. Each technique that I just mentioned targets not just the sea trout but bluefish, Spanish mackerel, juvenile kingfish that make it into the bay as they follow the baitfish schools, pompano, snapper, grouper, snook, tarpon, barracudas, sharks, jack crevalles and ladyfish. All of these fish can be caught while fishing for the sea trout in <st1:place>North Biscayne Bay</st1:place> this time of the year.

<st1:place>South Biscayne Bay</st1:place> has started to heat up as water temperatures slowly drop. Already Spanish mackerel, bluefish a few pompano, lots of small to medium sized red groupers, jacks and ladyfish have moved into the Finger Channels and are available to be caught. Mutton snapper, yellowtail, mangrove and hog snappers will join these fish soon. It is an easy fishery where soaking live shrimp or dead baits on the bottom for the snappers and groupers and the porgies while you fish a few baits on the surface for the mackerel, bluefish and pompano can keep you in action most of the day and if the winds get strong this area gets better.

Offshore the fishing has been very good with good runs of mackerel and bluefish along the beaches that have been taking place since October and kingfish being caught in depths from forty feet out to just over 100 feet of water.

Along the bluewater color change schools of dolphins have been pushing through for weeks and the sailfish have showed up early this year. The offshore fishing can be done from my 22’ Pathfinder Bay Boat but all of my charters start in the bay and then on the calmer days I might venture offshore to target the bluewater species but that is a decision that only I will make as the trip progresses through the day.

Recent Catches:

Jonas fished with me recently in North Biscayne Bay and we started the trip by cast netting over 500 pilchards with one throw of my 10’ Lee Fisher Cast Net and then headed to Haulover Inlet where we came across a school of jack crevalles that were in the eight to 12 pound range. In one hour we Jonas caught and released four of these jacks all on Rapala Twitchin Raps and Skitter Walks before heading offshore where we landed one kingfish and a few bonitos and lost over a dozen kings by cut offs before moving further offshore where we found a large school of dolphins in the six to 12 pound range. In no time we had our limit and headed back for the dock. That was a four hour charter!

Next day I fished by myself and went looking for the dolphins again. With another live well full of bait I was hoping to chum the dolphins with in range and catch them on fly. But as fishing goes it wasn’t to happen. The fish had thinned out and I was only able to get a person limit with a few smaller fish released.

Today I fished David Lange and his son’s Alan and Ryan. Normally when I get these guys on the boat the fishing is great but not today. We are out for a half day trip and after catching all the bait we need we start by fishing for mackerel. After missing a couple of fish we catch a large needlefish and two lizard fish before heading offshore to look for some dolphin. After locating a nice weedline we slow trolled pilchards for an hour and only managed one missed fish before coming back into the reef where we tried for kingfish but no bites there. We fished five more areas with the same results only managing a few more missed bites and a small senate that resembles a barracuda. Not everyday is a great day.

Today is Veterans Day and the wind is blowing at least 25 out of the northeast. I have my nephew Alexander and his sister Katherine with me and we are fishing <st1:place>South Biscayne Bay</st1:place>. The first spot produces six Spanish mackerel to six pounds and at least three times that in missed strikes and cut offs plus many jack crevalles and a few missed bluefish before the action stopped. Our next few spots produced lots of small red groupers and a yellowtail snapper.

Today I am in Flamingo with Dr. C and his son Keiser. They want fish for the freezer so we are off to the Gulf waters to fish a spot that produced a lot of snappers, mackerel, bluefish, jacks, groupers and cobia a few weeks ago. It is a full moon and you just never know what to expect on a full moon. We pass up schools of baitfish that are being terrorized by small jacks and ladyfish and work our way to the first spot. I am loaded with nice live shrimp, finger mullet and pilchards. The first spot produces only small jacks and ladyfish. The second spot we missed a few good strikes and the third spot we released two sharks boated a lane snapper and then the catfish made us leave. We headed closer to shore and fished a piece of structure where we had a bite on every cast. One of the fish was a 15 pound permit and another was a nine pound goliath grouper. After that we fished similar spots and landed three pompano, mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish and snappers before calling it a day.

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Edited by Sam

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Very cool. Thanks for the report. I've never even seen some of the fish down there!

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