The way the fronts have come through there hasn’t been lots of fishing recent days. Local bait shops are no longer looking for shrimp. Stewart’s Bait and Tackle (912.786.7472 formerly Tybee Island Bait and Tackle) is carrying mud minnow and fiddler crabs but its always a good idea regardless of bait shop you’re patronizing to call ahead to make the shop will be open and they have what you’re looking for. During winter a bait shop could possibly close due a front or simply might be sold of the bait you’re looking for – so call ahead!
Even as water temperature has plummeted large seatrout can still come up from deep recesses to snag an easy meal. With water in the mid to upper 40’s anticipate just a occasional seatrout or two. As redfish adjust to the colder temperatures its possible to catch some nice reds on soft plastics or on live or dead bait. If fish are not coming up on the flats try fishing deep with a large float rig set close to bottom or a Carolina rig on the bottom. Fishing during the winter can be tricky but it is possible to catch some nice fish! The biggest factor is nature. Its not so much the cold but have fish adjusted. Sudden changes in barometer pressure can put the bite down. Thick scale fish like sheephead and redfish can adjust to lower temperature very well. If fish are not biting try fishing deep.
One expression is the fish are biting somewhere. If you fishing a winter day and the bite is on thats great! It can and does happen. On the other hand if the bite is off try fishing deep. Also lighter leaders and bleeding bait hooks (red colored) could help. Noise can be a big factor during the winter. Approach your drop as silently as possible.
Fish to target during the winter: stripers, seatrout, redfish and sheepshead. Just because its winter its still possible to catch some nice fish!
I hope this of interest and help! Keep only what you plan on eating and release the rest!
Fish On! Capt. Jack McGowan, Coastal River Charters