The first part of November is usually the peak of the flounder run, when big fish that have been feeding in the coastal rivers during the spring and the summer start moving out of the rivers and into the bays. We only consistently catch limits of flounder at this time of year, and the biggest flounder weigh 2 to 6 pounds.
You'll find flounder at the mouths of any coastal river. Sometimes the flounder will be biting slowly, and you only may catch one every 30 minutes. However, when you hit a big school of them, you'll catch one on every cast. Some days the flounder will be in 3 inches of water or perhaps 8 feet deep. Schindler likes to fish for flounder when the water's moving, and he generally can locate a leeward bank to fish successfully - even in windy weather.
To catch flounder, fish with ¼-ounce jigheads. The color of the grub doesn't really matter, as long as it has a chartreuse tail.
Schnindler also has learned that tipping the hook on the grub with a live minnow, a dead shrimp or a piece of cut bait is very important for success.
He fishes 20- to 30-pound-test braided line because the big flounder often will fight as hard as a 15-pound redfish, and as the braided line bumps the bottom, it will be in contact with oyster shells or barnacles.
Checking your drag frequently is also important.
The flounder is one of the tastiest fish that swims inshore, so you want to give yourself every advantage you can to land these flat fish.
You really have to search for flounder - with success sometimes in the first 15 minutes of fishing, or you may have to fish for three or four hours. Some days Schindler be on the trolling motor, and we may go for 100 yards or a ¼-mile and only catch one or two flounder. Then he'll hit a spot where the flounder are stacked up like pancakes and limit out in 20 minutes.
Because you often are fishing on the border of Louisiana and Mississippi, it's important to be aware of the limits in both. In Louisiana, you only can keep 10 flounder, but in Mississippi you can keep 15.
The wind determines which state will be most productive. You'll primarily be fishing close to shore, so you want to look for areas where the waves are crashing into the bank.
After boating a limit of flounder, you can start concentrating on speckled trout and head to Louisiana's Biloxi Marsh. Look for the points and the drains that come out of the marsh.
Anywhere you see bait ganged up, you can expect to catch trout. In November, you won't catch a lot of trophy trout, but you'll catch large numbers of 12- to 14-inch fish that average 1½ to 2 pounds each.
You can start fishing with live shrimp to help locate schools of trout, and then change over to soft-plastic lures.
You can always have a good day fishing spinnerbaits, topwater lures or dead shrimp close to the bank. But when the water is calm and clean, and there's little to no wind and some sunshine, you can look for those tailing redfish cruising the banks of the duck ponds, and sight-fish for them.
These redfish will be 16 to 27 inches, but if you want to pick a fight and cast to one of the 27- to 30-inch redfish, you'd better keep a tight hold on your rod and reel. The fight will be brutal.
When you're sight-fishing topwater lures for redfish in the duck ponds, productive baits include the Zara Spook, the Zara Puppy, the Rapala Skitter Walk, and the MirrOlure Top Dog and She Dog.
In November, the weather usually is pleasant - not too hot and not too cold. There is an occasional cold front, but that cold weather doesn't seem to bother the flounder. Or, you can move out on the artificial reefs and fish for bull reds, big black drum or sheepshead. Schindler likes to fish the reefs off Hancock and Harrison counties.
For the locations of the artificial inshore reefs off Mississippi's Gulf Coast, go to http://www.dmr.ms.gov/marine-fisheries/artificial-reef/73-inshore-reefs.
At press time, Shindler was taking a holiday, heading offshore with Capt. Rimmer Covington (601-951-3981) to fish for yellowfin and blackfin tuna behind the shrimp boats in deep water.
They run about 75 miles from Biloxi to reach the deepwater shrimp boats. When these shrimpers start cleaning their nets and throwing the bycatch out, the yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, bonito and sharks school up behind the boats.
If they're lucky, they'll catch mainly yellowfin and blackfin tuna. If they're not lucky, they'll hook up to a bunch of big sharks, have to cut our lines and go find another shrimp boat that doesn't have as many sharks around it.
However, there are some yellowfins out there that tip the scales at 125 to 200 pounds - or more.