By Capt. Joe Kent
Winter weather seems to be arriving later each year and, while October used to be mentioned as the best time for enjoying the outdoors, many outdoor enthusiasts now feel that November has joined or replaced October with that distinction.
Anglers, as well, tend to agree that this is the month to get the family out and enjoy the water.
November’s cooler weather is a delight for being on the water or enjoying the shorelines. So, what are the options for wetting a line and catching some fish or crabs? There are many.
Before we get into fishing, let’s visit about crabbing. Crab fishing or crabbing as it is more often called involves fishing (crabbing) from docks and piers. The only equipment needed is a long handled dip net also referred to a crab net, a five to eight foot line, a weight and bait.
The bait can be almost any type of meat from fish heads to rib bones. I have never seen a youngster that did not enjoy watching a crab line and then slowly retrieving it once a crab starts to pull on it and then dipping the crab out of the water. Not only is this a fun sport for the whole family but often a nice meal provided from the harvest.
While other family members are crabbing, those who like to fish can partake of their sport by casting their baits in the water alongside the crabbers. What a fun way to spend a nice day in November.
Now, for the anglers in the family, November offers some of the best inshore fishing of the year.
Flounder are always in the height of their run or migration to the Gulf of Mexico for their winter spawning and shelter from the cold season. Most of the best flounder action in November comes from near the passes into the Gulf. The Galveston Ship Channel is one of the hottest spots for catching the flatfish; however, there are lots of other areas that offer great flounder fishing.
For anglers without boats, Seawolf Park is a top choice for flounder, as well as most docks and piers near the passes. The rock groins near the Galveston and Bolivar Ferry Landings are often filled with flounder fishermen. Also, the Texas City Dike is known for its November flounder action.
For boaters, the options are almost endless for catching all of the big three during November. Upper Galveston Bay and Trinity Bay are known for their late fall fishing, with speckled trout being the top choice of most anglers. Working the birds, drift fishing over reefs and fishing around the numerous gas wells in the upper bays all are methods capable of producing fine stringers of trout and reds.
The shorelines from Sylvan Beach to San Leon offer their best fishing of the year. Numerous private piers jet out into the water from those shorelines and are in their prime for fishing. Wade fishing also is a great choice; however, for families it is not nearly as popular a method of fishing as the other options.
Clear Lake and the Clear Creek Channel are good spots for both bank and pier fishing as the cooler waters have fish and crabs moving closer to shore from their summertime deep retreats.
For the family, the pleasant weather is the key to fun family outings whether by land or boat. Hunting seasons that occur during November draw lots of anglers off the water and reduce the competition for space.
If you have not enjoyed a family outing on the water, give it a try in November.