As we head into the New Year temperatures have been mild, above average. Mild temperatures will give fishermen more opportunities to hit the water! Fishing in the winter can be productive! Seatrout are still biting! Bait has become scare so finding fish will often mean fishing areas that are holding bait. As the season change, from fall to winter, bait will leave the beachfronts and in favor of the heads of creeks and backwaters. A creek mouth can be likely place to find seatrout waiting to ambush bait moving out of the creek. Another winter pattern is fishing deep holes in a creek at low tide tide. These holes can hold lots of bait during the winter and has the possibility of being very productive.
Fishermen fishing the flats are finding some redfish and some seatrout. Most of the reds are looking fat and happy! Reds are having no problem finding fiddler crabs to forage on. Seatrout are having a more difficult time bait. Most of seatrout being caught on the flats are long and skinny with empty stomachs. A good indicator of the lack of bait in sounds is that the Georgia Department Natural Resources closed the commercial shrimping season at the end of the year and reported shrimp on the beachfront has been scare for the past two months. In short the better seatrout action has in around creeks and in backwaters. Soft plastics, mud minnows, and live shrimp are effective seatrout baits. A couple of local bait shops are stocking shrimp, typically Florida shrimp is what’s available this time of the year: Landing Harbor marina and Tybee Island Bait and Tackle. Shrimp are very fragile and availability can change quickly. If you planning on fishing live shrimp or other live baits its best to call ahead. Mud minnows are a hardy bait and do well in cold conditions. Those fishing the flats for reds are typically using jerk baits. Favorite colors for jerk baits are mullet and shrimp patterns. Stealth is of prime importance when fishing the flats. For best results plan fishing slow. Fish often are not on the move. They are hunkered down. Moving too quickly could mean all you’ll see are lots of mudings, puffs of a little cloud of mud stirred up by redfish being spooked. Slow down and keep your noise to minimum.
Sheepshead action has been good! The offshore bite is weather dependent. Rough seas can make fishing tough to impossible. Sheepshead will move back and forth from inshore to offshore. The bite been pretty good! Typically fishermen will fish the change of tide for this fish. Sheepshead numbers look good!
Hope this of interest and help! Keep what you want to eat and release the rest!
Fish On! Capt. Jack McGowan