The New Year is upon us! Those who fished over the holiday season were met with cold conditions and surface water reaching as low as 44 degrees. The cold meant fish were driven to deep water in search of more favorable conditions. Suspending fish are difficult to catch. As conditions warmed redfish could be found on mud flats.
Conditions for the past week have more like spring like than winter. Unseasonably mild conditions and gentle winds gave fishermen opportunities to pursue near shore wrecks for sheepshead and sea bass with good success. Warming conditions also brought up seatrout and redfish. Capt. Ray Crawely stated he saw nice schools (10 or so fish in a school) and caught some nice reds arounds local mud flats. Generally the best tide to target these fish is when the water is out of the grass. Dead low tide is usually the toughest time to catch redfish. Once these fish feel a little current they will more likely to eat. Favorite winter baits are a variety of dead baits, plastics and mud minnows. Sheepshead actions has been steady with good action around the jetties and near shore wrecks. Most of these fish are taken on fiddler crabs but will take other baits such as oysters and shrimp. Some fisherman have been known to boil oyster to toughen them up so the sheepshead can’t steal them so easily. My thought is fish fiddler crabs and eat the oyster! Mild conditions will likely mean the bite will likely improve. Stripers which have been suspending will come up and should be more active as well!
Tides are building on Sunday the 9th to 8.2ft and rising. Tides will be below 8ft on Wednesday the 13th. Expect the better fishing from Wednesday through the weekend. Big tides can make bottom fishing more difficult as well as dirty water and produce drifts that are faster and less than ideal to fish. Best tides are usually those less than 8.3ft.
With all of this great weather fishermen should wet a line for some winter fishing! No live shrimp doesn’t mean no fishing. Fish more plastics. Plastics can out produce bait on many days. For those desiring to fish bait mud minnows will work just fine!
Good Fishing! Capt. Jack McGowan