South Padre: November 2015

South Padre: November 2015
When you’re wearing Simms from head to toe, weather is not much of a factor.

Lower Laguna anglers are greatly concerned with both the short and long term effects the present red tide situation might create. While I have not witnessed firsthand the actual presence of red tide, I am told it is most concentrated along the Gulf beaches and has also been verified at low to moderate cell counts in the Laguna Madre near Port Mansfield's East Cut and the Brazos Santiago Pass. I have seen lots of dead fish though, and it is a sad sight. Large numbers of redfish and trout of all sizes, and even red snapper among other species floating in the ICW. I believe these fish died in the nearshore Gulf and the tide brought them into the bay. Everybody is praying the toxic algae will disappear soon.

Catching was just off the chart as we entered the super blood moon period at the end of September. Redfish were where they were supposed to be and taking topwaters throughout the day. Trout were numerous in many locations and also hitting topwaters aggressively. Flounder action was exceptional as well. But when that big moon showed up it added about a foot to the already higher than normal tides and scattered the fish. Redfish schools became harder to locate and although the trout action dwindled somewhat the flounder bite all but disappeared. Mother Nature turned the tables on an exceptional bite for all three species and currently the evening hours bring the only really decent action we are experiencing.

Shorter days and more frequent northers will drop water temperatures as we head into November. Long about midmonth or Thanksgiving week we will be jumping into our waders. If you have yet to enjoy a day of fishing in Simms waders you will not believe what you have been missing. The dryness, comfort and durability are the best that man can make and money can buy–bar none. I am fortunate to have been selected as a Simms Field Ambassador and have an assortment of Simms waders available for loan to my clients. I will be happy for you to use a pair if you are planning to fish with me this winter.

Speckled trout are known to greatly increase their feeding activity as the water temperatures decline though the fall and into the beginning of winter. Whether they are fattening up for cold weather or merely enjoying the cooler water; it's great news for fishermen. Mullet become their primary diet but on chilly mornings bait can be hard to locate. This is when I begin to focus sharply on feeding brown pelicans, seagulls, and ospreys. Many days I have located feeding trout and reds being shadowed by these birds when there were almost no other surface signals. The Paul Brown line of lures now produced by MirrOlure moves to the top of our go-to list: Original, Fat Boy and Deviland of course K-Wiggler Ball Tail Shads in Flomingo and Plum-Chartreuse.

Assuming the super moon tide will be long gone, I expect to find trout holding through mid-November in the same places as October, but you will begin to see a noticeable increase in size and girth. We had exceptional big trout success at this time last year.

When I think of redfish in November, I see new surface plugs being stripped of nearly all their paint by day's end. November reds are almost never shy and will zero in on a bait from a considerable distance and absolutely crush it. Schools tend not to roam far in November so long as food remains plentiful although they will usually move toward the edges of channels and other drop-offs when an especially cold norther passes through. Apart from those fronts, I expect to find redfish schools along the sand-grass transition zones of the east side flats. Back-bay areas should also provide steady redfish action.

How do I rate fishing in the month of November? Overall I would say it is better than October when it comes to finding aggressively feeding gamefish. The weather is mostly pleasant and boat traffic will be much lighter as many sportsmen will be hunting. Finding greater numbers of fish in more places is a bonus but the best is yet to come.

Thanksgiving comes on November 26 and we have much to be thankful for. I count every day on the water a blessing. This Thanksgiving, invite a friend to share a day of fishing and let them see what we see. I thank the Lord for where I am today and all He has given me. Happy Thanksgiving!