Despite Spring like conditions fishing on the flats been problematic. There are reports of redfish schooling up on the flats. Nonetheless, some fishermen are finding fish in murky water, not a a lot. Exactly what triggers redfish to school is unclear. Lots of fishermen believe if conditions are colder then warmer water on the flats becomes more critical. The factors are likely many. Is it possible to reds on the flats as well up tidal creeks. When nature comes together its likely to find reds on several flats. In general during the winter noise is more critical. Sometimes even a splash of a 1/4 ounce jig and send fish scattering. Winter time reds can in honker down in extremely shallow water. These fish can be easy to overlook and easier to spook. During the winter time this is an excellent time to down size your tackle and fish lighter and lighter. If you fish a 20 or 30 pound super braid with 1/4 ounce jigs you might down size to 10 to 15 pound line an 1/8 jig. Sometimes pitching plastics or a bait with no weight at all can work well! Fish as light as you can comfortably fish is a good option for winter time fishing.
If the bite is hot then switch back to more aggressive baits: chatter, spin and top water. When the bite is slow, as difficult as it seems slow your fishing down match nature. This said as occasional fast crank might pull a quick reaction from a red. In short, match nature. If you aren’t getting results change things up. The number one rule keep your bait in the water more than its in the air.
Looks like this shaping up to a good year for sheepshead! Several boats landed quality sheepshead. When the bite is on its possible to cull your catch and keep few nice one and release the rest. The regulations are likely to change but for now fishermen in federal waters, 3 miles and further, are required to fish circle hooks. A hook that is working nicely is Eagle Claw’s L197G-1/0. The trick with circle hooks is reel down on the fish and not set the hook. Many of the best fishermen preach not to set your hook and to keep your rod moving. This is a topic of endless discussing a firm sensitive rod is helpful in feeling the bite. A rod slow action can be a great seatrout and redfish rod but for sheepshead a little faster action is in order. Lastly, fly fishermen fish most times with their rod tip down. This technique work well for sheepshead as well. A super braid line can also add to your feel.
Looks like a good year for sheepshead shaping up!
Hope this of interest and help!
Capt. Jack McGowan 912.441.9930
Coastal River Charters