November is now upon us, which historically brings a string of cold fronts throughout the month. The first week of November immediately brought a weaker front followed by a much stronger one almost exactly a week later.
The front that came through on November 5thbrought a strong north wind that stirred up the bay and dropped water temps by almost 10 degrees. The week leading up to the front the water had remained a steady 74 for some time and starting just after the front we have now been anywhere from 64-67 degrees, depending on the time of day and cloud cover. These cold fronts can cause a lot of changes in not only fish feeding patterns but also locations and waterway depths traveled. Shrimp become an easier option of a food source, as less energy needs to be exerted than chasing baitfish.
As the water remains cold, redfish will begin to use shallow, sandy, and muddy bottoms in the mornings to search for their food, as these areas are the first to heat up from penetrating sunlight. Kingfish and Mackerel find their way closer to shore for this same reason. In the summer, Tampa Bay has the highest tides of the year while winter in the bay records the lowest. These large tidal changes are due to the north and northwest winds from the cold fronts blowing water out of the Gulf of Mexico and consequently out of the bay. In the winter the sun is also closer to the earth causing the new moon low tide to be even lower. These negative low winter tides give great opportunity to sight fish our inshore species on the flats, especially with the presence of deeper potholes creating a good ambush spot for predatory fish.
Thank you to all who weathered the weather over the weekend at the annual Fall King of the Beach. The wind was blowing in typical KOTB fashion and so a decision was made to move the tournament from Saturday to Sunday. Thankfully the tournament was still able to take place and there were some solid fish brought to the scales as it made for another great event!
Capt. Skylar Wilks