by Capt Craig Lambert
The month of November always produces incredible and awesome fishing days. That is why it is by far my favorite month of the calendar year. The "Big 3" are peaking this month and the weather is absolutely fantastic which means no other month really compares. And with the beginning of deer season the fishing pressure on the bay has been cut in half. November is just a fabulous month to be on the water here on the Galveston Bay complex. STUD!!!
Our speckled trout and redfish populations have become eating machines this month trying to fatten up for winter as their urge to go northward is intensified by every passing cold front. These same cold fronts are pushing flounder out of the estuaries and back bays and they are moving southward towards the ship channel lanes in the Gulf where they will spend their winter. This situation sets up perfect for the angler playing the weather. The few days leading up to a cold front is typically when the best trout and redfish bite occurs while the few days after a cold front is when the best flounder bite occurs. With cold fronts moving in every week this sets up for a perfect scenario of not having to worry about weather on the days you are fishing.That's what it is all about!
My all time favorite fishing of the entire year is flounder season. I love it with a passion! Flounder are incredibly aggressive and therefore a live bait is not really needed for most anglers. A soft plastic like a Gulp on a heavy jighead like 3/8th oz and heavy action rod and you are good to go. The heavy action rod is for those hard bony mouths the flounder have. When I stick a flounder I rarely if ever get a hook spit back in my face. That is because I give a really good hook set with a heavy action bass rod to pierce the bone. This set up and technique will ensure a good hookset and is incredibly important unless you want that fish of a lifetime to spit the hook back in your face. Keep the bait moving. If you can keep your plastic lifelike and moving you will definitely get more hook ups. Once you get that thump you can stick 'em right away or let them chew on it like a live bait. Only when using mud minnows or live mullet should you give them plenty of time to swallow the bait before setting the hook. Look for areas where any fresh water flow or storm drainage is sent back in to the bay system. These are great spots to catch not only numbers but also big flounder. That is a lot of spots!
Live shrimp under a popping cork is killing it! I haven't seen a lot of big fish yet this month but I am hoping the fish will grow in size after each successive cold front. These last few weeks we have been throwing back 2 to 3 fish for every keeper in the box. Topwater baits seem to be drawing in bigger fish but definitely not getting as many bites on tops. Look for outstanding fish after we get our next real cold front. We need those water levels to drop a few feet to empty out the marshes and really get some great bird action going. Look for mid day or afternoon outgoing tides to produce the best bird activity. East Bay, Tabbs Bay and Trinity Bay are great areas to locate and fish under the birds. Expect a ton of throwbacks but lots of action and fun. Topwaters will produce the bigger fish and help put some in the box but a soft plastic will catch a fish on almost every cast.Nice specimen!
It looks like we have a great fall season ahead of us so take advantage of it and don't forget to take a kid fishing!!