Captain Greg's Fishing Report for November 2019
Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, and Orlando
Last Month's Action
October tried to get us back in the game but overall fell a little short of the mark. The near shore fishing for big red drum was definitely where the action was for anyone just looking to bend rods and have a great time on the water. Nice black tip sharks and small black tip sharks were also very cooperative in the goal of keeping lines tight and smiles big. Wind, rough seas and big swells kept us in close most of the month. Right at the end the offshore fishing improved a lot with some nice king mackerel, black fin tuna and even a few shots at sail fish.
November Near Shore Fishing Forecast
The big red drum have moved in and will remain a great option this month for those just wanting to bend rods. The best way to catch these monsters is to use big cut baits with a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hook and wait them out anywhere that looks fishy. What makes a area fishy? Bait & activity makes a area fishy. Look for scattered marks on the bottom machine, birds diving, spanish mackerel jumping, even dolphins feeding are all indicators of a fishy area. Another fun way to catch the reds is by tipping a buck tail jig with a strip of fish and making long cast bumping the bottom for those who like to work at it. Black tip sharks will also be abundant this month and range in size of little pups to over 100lbs. They will be mixed in the same area as the reds so attaching #6 wire to your circle hook is not a bad idea at all and doesn’t seem to have any negative effect on the red bite.
Pompano fishing is already picking up so we are expecting another killer season just like last year. Sand fleas and cut clams are always the bait of choice. Another very fun and effective way to catch pompano is with pompano jigs and light tackle. If you have never tried this I highly suggest giving it a go. It is a absolute blast.
Spanish mackerel and blue fish are always a homerun this month. Casting silver spoons, diamond jigs, gotcha plugs always produce. Both can be really good eating fish when fresh and both make fantastic cut bait for reds and sharks.
Snook fishing inside the port will remain strong using nice size live baits such as croaker or pogies. Another great option is live shrimp and no not the hand picks. We always catch a pile of snook this time of year on shrimp while we are targeting sheepshead, mangroves, flounder, pompano, whiting, drum etc. Everything eats a shrimp and that is absolutely the best plan of attack when taking the family fishing.
November is a fantastic month to keep the boat close or do a little surf fishing.
November Offshore Fishing Forecast
Now that the water temps are starting to cool off, the big swells from tropical storm activity will go away allowing water clarity to improve. We will start to face cold fronts that produce choppy sea condition for a short time but a chop is way less intrusive to fishing conditions compared to a swell. A swell lifts water and effects the bottom and surface water by putting sand, silt, sediment etc. through the entire water column. This is why the deeper you go the cleaner the water but that is typically not where the fish are. A chop might make the ocean rough for a day or two but doesn’t pull from the bottom.
Now that everyone has a idea of why, now let’s come up with a plan of attack to put fish in the boat during this transition. The key to success will be to make a big presence and commit. A good variety of king mackerel, black fin tuna, sailfish, wahoo and mahi will all be available. We won’t see big numbers of fish but very good days can be put together when it’s done correct. When I say commit it means don’t be lazy. Your trolling spread needs to be set up to target everything. Start by running 2 big teaser’s in order to create a flashy & loud presence to attract fish that might be just outside of your immediate trolling zone. A decent size skirted ballyhoo or skirted strip bait on a downrigger or planer for wahoo. Long bait needs to be decent size and wire rigged for wahoo but a big mahi will also take it down. Outrigger baits & your short bait need to be small ballyhoo rigged naked with mono, perfect for black fin, sailfish & mahi. Take the time to do it right and reap the rewards.
Bottom fishing will be good along the main ledges in 70 to 120ft. With any luck the big swells that cause water clarity to be poor will go away. Once that happens it creates the perfect clarity for a good bite, not too clean and not too dirty. Make sure you get a lot of bait going down. Use chicken rigs for lane snappers and trigger fish while others use whole cigar minnows for muttons and mangroves. The key is to get the reef excited, even a chum block to the bottom is a good idea but not necessary.
No matter what we fish for this month the Atlantic always produces. A fun day on the water with family and friends is always something to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone & Tight Lines.
About Captain Greg's Reports and Forecast
Captain Greg has been fishing the waters of Port Canaveral and the Atlantic for over 30 years. He has the largest and most highly rated private charter business in Port Canaveral, Sea Leveler Sport Fishing Charters. Greg and his team of full time captains fish well over 200 days each per year. We have kept detailed catch history for every trip ran since 2010. You can access this history at www.sealeveler.com/reports. His engineer wife, Amber, has analyzed the catch history along with other historical data such as water temperature and weather patterns. Greg uses his fishing experience and knowledge along with his wife’s statistical analysis to bring you the best fishing report available for Port Canaveral. Greg will give you the honest truth on how the fishing has been along with his best prediction of what to expect by using all of this information.