by Capt Craig Lambert
The fall season overall has been much better than I was expecting after the tough year of fishing that we have had. Easy limits are the norm except on those bluebird days when there is no wind or some type of westerly factor influencing the wind. Those bigger speckled trout can be found shallower (2-3 ft) and the smaller specks are hanging out just a bit deeper, mostly over shell and mud. Look for this pattern and the good bite to continue until the end of this month with the bigger specks showing up more and more on the shallower flats as the water temperature drops.
I would look for good fishing to continue until the end of this month before it starts to taper off. Soon it will be time to start slowing down your presentation and maybe switching to a 1/8th oz jig if you haven't already done so and it is really the same with a popping cork with less popping and deeper leaders. Right now I am using a 3 ft. leader in most situations and may increase that by 6 to 12 inches as the water temperature continues to drop. Look for bigger specks to start showing up on shallow muddy flats on a regular basis. Guides tip:
To find trophy speckled trout try wading an hour or 2 before the sun comes up. These bigger fish are nocturnal and that is why they survive to be so big.
The flounder bite hasn't impressed me at all this year. So far I have only been a few times and it was OK at best but I just keep hearing reports of a few fish and easy limits (not hard at 2 fish per person) but I don't hear anyone talking about crushing them on a regular basis. But it is still worth it to get out there and get after it. It should be peaking right about now and some big girls will be caught from now until the end of the run. Fighting the crowd and planning your trip around the busy times seems to be the best way to put a few in the box. Showing up at 5:30 in the morning on Saturday will not give you many spots to choose from believe it or not. To beat the crowds on weekends your best bet is to fish afternoons. And most of the weekdays are getting crowded as the holidays approach but you can still get in to some spots on weekdays without too much of a problem.
I am very reluctant to say we are going to have a good winter because the last year or so has not been the best. But this fall has already started out much better than last year so that gives me hope to be optimistic. We will see what the bite is like in January which is usually a tough month. Things look good now so go enjoy one of the best months of the year in our region.
Take a kid fishing and everyone have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!