Fishing has been excellent on Quiet Waters fishing charters run out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters in Sarasota, FL. Topwater action for snook, redfish, and seatrout has been excellent. We’re still seeing the occasional juvenile tarpon, but their numbers are definitely beginning to thin out. Wind continues to impact fishing trends. On many trips, wind has played a more important role than the tides.
Snook in the back country have been most active in the morning. Larger profile plugs have produced some large snook. Topwater plugs like the Heddon Super Spook, Super Spook Jr, and the MirrOlure Top Dog have been too much for big snook to ignore. The MirrOlure Catch 2000 and Mirrodine XL have been extremely effective subsurface plugs on snook of all sizes. At night on dock lights, we’re still using smaller artificial shrimp offerings and modest sized rapala slashbaits. Action continues to be best in areas with good current.
Fly fishing for snook has been consistently good. Foating minnow flies have caught some excellent snook. These flies are ideal for sight fishing snook, or beating the bushes on higher tides. Larger EP flies have been the ticket on the flats and near mangrove points where snook have set up feeding lanes. On dock lights, we’re still using the JT clouser with great success for snook. Larger EP flies have worked well on snook.
We are still seeing the occasional school of redfish come through in the back country. If you can pull three or more reds out before spooking the school, then you’re doing just fine. We’ve caught our fair share of redfish on topwater early in the morning in the back country. The Heddon Super Spook and MirrOlure Top Dog have been the best producers for reds. The Mirrodine XL has been an effective subsurface plug. Another great option has been working a Cotee Chubby Grub, rigged on a 3/16 ounce jig head, through potholes.
The best flies to use on schools of redfish have been either the floating minnow, or a large EP fly. The key to fishing a school of happy redfish has been to keep the fly in front of them as long as possible. The floating minnow is excellent at staying in the top 12” of the water column. It’s been our go-to on schooling reds. The JT clouser, the Back Country Special, and EP flies have worked better for applications when you’re hunting or sight fishing for reds.
Fishing for seatrout has been steady on both fly and light tackle. If you’re looking to bend the rod, then the deep grass is the place for you. The bite has been very consistent over deep grass. Trout on the deep grass never seem to tire of eating a ¼ ounce jig with a paddle tail. Most fish are modest size, but you will find the occasional seatrout over 20” this way.
In the back country, larger seatrout have been in potholes , around schools of bait, and in feeding lanes created by the wind. If you’re looking to target larger seatrout, the back country is not a bad option. Bouncing a Cotee chubby grub through potholes and in feeding lanes has worked well. The Mirrodine XL plug has been a magnet for larger trout. We’re seeing a tremendous amount of action on topwater plugs. Seatrout of all sizes will take a stab at eating a Heddon Super Spook.
As we transition towards winter trends, we’ll see much lower water in the morning. Make sure you know the deepest holes on your favorite flats. We should start seeing more and more snook in brackish creeks and rivers as we move towards December.
Aquadream spoons should provide good action for redfish and snook in shallow water. Topwater plugs are excellent situational tools this time of year, so use them effectively. Nearshore Gulf fishing should continue to be good if you have manageable enough conditions to venture out.
If you’re interested in a charter, you can contact Captain Brian Boehm by phone (941-400-6218), email (email@example.com), or through the website quietwatersfishing.com.
See you on the water soon!