Mid-Coast Bays: November 2022

Mid-Coast Bays: November 2022
Chelsy Williams had a great time reeling in this bruiser of a redfish.

We finally got the cooler weather I know we all have been waiting for. This past summer really seemed to drag on a lot longer than normal…or maybe I’m just getting older and not tolerating the energy zapping heat as well as I once did. It probably goes without saying but with the cooler temps and shorter days the water temperatures are more conducive for catching.

As I mentioned in my last article, it has been pretty tough to catch trout within the new slot limit of 17- 23-inches consistently the past several months. On most trips my customers and I chose not to harass the trout and instead decided to concentrate most of our efforts targeting redfish. Personally, I would much rather catch redfish compared to any other shallow water species. Focusing on mostly redfish allowed me to instruct and educate my clients on techniques that could help them become more successful at catching redfish on their own in the future. I’m going to go over some of those tips in this month’s article.

Here in my home waters, my primary methods for targeting slot redfish means focusing on shallow water, water that is anywhere from 6 inches to 3 feet deep. Lucky for anglers on the Mid Coast there is no shortage of shallow water available along the many miles of main bay shorelines and the great number of back lakes and marsh areas. Redfish will tend to favor the back lakes during November unless the prevailing air and water temperatures are unseasonably warm. Though not very common, if this should occur, the sandy, main bay shorelines will become my go-to locations.

 Through most of summer many of the back lakes had become inundated with seagrass that made fishing with lures difficult if not impossible. Thankfully, with the recently shorter days and cooler temps the grass has begun to recede and we’re back to using soft plastics and spoons. My personal favorite redfish lures are 1/4 and 1/2 ounce weedless spoons, in either gold or silver. On cloudy days, and when the water turns a bit off-color, I find spoons with hammered finish more effective than others with smooth finish. My guess is the hammer dimples create more flash and reflectivity under somewhat murky water and low-light conditions.

I prefer slow retrieves when presenting spoons, lifting the rod tip rhythmically to create fluttering action as it settles. If like me you still prefer monofilament line over braid, it’s a good idea to attach a barrel swivel to the spoon with a small split ring to prevent line twist. When using braid you can probably skip the swivel as braid has far less memory; provided that you remember to maintain slower speeds on the retrieves and avoid causing the spoon to spin.  

If spoons aren’t getting the job done to your satisfaction you can opt for scented soft plastics. I have seen days that the reds eagerly grabbed scented plastics when nothing else worked for us. The Bass Assassin 3½-inch Die Dapper is a great bait, along with their 5-inch Vapor Shad and 5-inch Salty Snack – all infused with their fish-attracting Bang Scent.

Just as important as the lure you choose is your rod. Fishing with artificial lures often includes making hundreds of casts during a full day. With this in mind your rod needs to be lightweight, flexible and sensitive, and most importantly with enough backbone to handle strong fish. Waterloo’s HP Lite fills all these requirements perfectly. If perhaps your budget is a bit limited, I would suggest taking a look at Waterloo’s