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Finally, November arrives and trout season begins

October 31, 2012
By Capt. BILL RUSSELL - On the Water , Pine Island Eagle

With a combination of a hurricane churning north off Florida's east coast, followed by a cold front moving south over Southwest Florida, one could expect some windy conditions. And that's just what we experienced - a week filled with days where 20 to 30-knot wind gust were common and fishing reports were sparse.

Beginning in November there will no longer be a closed season on spotted sea trout in Southwest Florida. After a long closure during the months of November and December, recent studies have shown that stocks are in great condition and anglers will benefit from no more closures, trout is open all year.

Sea trout is the state's most popular inshore game fish and Southwest Florida is no exception; our waters boast some of the best trout fishing in the state. Few would disagree that spotted sea trout are the mainstay of Florida's recreational fishery; they are often referred to as "the people's fish."

Article Photos

Photo provided
Windy weather redfish

Last Friday with Hurricane Sandy bringing gusty winds the fish were still biting. Stanley & Charlotte Harris, plus son Justin, visiting from Houston Texas enjoyed a good redfish bite. They boated fish from 22 to 30 inches, including these 3 slot fish that went home for supper. They were fishing in north Matlacha Pass with Capt. Bill Russell.

Unlike redfish, snook, grouper or tarpon, trout are much easier to target for all anglers, and they are great on the table.

The two-month closure, along with conservative bag and size limits, has helped the state's spotted sea trout stocks exceed management goals. Fishermen have noticed a steady increase in both trout numbers and size in recent years allowing for a year round open season.

For current trout regulations go to

As the waters of Southwest Florida continue to cool this month there should be plenty of good fishing to keep anglers busy. Masses of bait fish are moving down the coast and the potential is there for some wild fishing when bait and predator collide.

You can target a specific species of fish or just get in the mix of a feeding frenzy and see what's there. Often a host of different species are ganged up on the same bait pod, its common to catch a half dozen or more different species from one area.

Also, expect an increase in species like pompano and sheepshead as the water cools to add with our regulars like redfish, snook, trout and mackerel that should be feeding aggressively as winter approaches.

Novem-ber is a great month on our waters as fish are on the move and feeding as winter approaches. And for the first time in many, many years, sea trout are in season.

If you have a fishing report or for charter information, please contact us at: 239-283-7960, or

Have a safe week and good fishin'.



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