Red Hot Fishing Report for January
You just have to love Florida weather in January!!! Of all the states in the Continental US, Florida appears to be the only state that has yet to see any snow. Luckily for us we have already seen some cooler weather this year but still a majority of our days have found temperatures remaining in the high 60’s low 70’s making for very comfortable fishing conditions. Although our weather has been pleasant, the constant ups and downs of the weather has triggered many game fish to act just like the weather. One day the bite is hot, the next day the bite can be cold!!
When the Bite is Hot it is really Hot. During the winter month’s most game fish eat less than they normally would in the Spring and Fall yet they tend to eat larger meals when they do feed. Most of the fish that I have cleaned in recent weeks have eaten everything from Pinfish, Mudd Minnows, and Shrimp and I’ve even seen a few fish with 6-9 inch long Sand Eels in their stomachs. This tells me that although food sources may be limited at times, when these fish do decide to eat you definitely want to be at the right place at the right time to experience some great inshore fishing.
Sight casting for Redfish and Sheephead have been the top targets here lately along the Nature Coast. Although water temperatures do fluctuate as Cold Fronts Pass, the days leading up to the impending weather set off a chain reaction of amazing fishing action. With most Redfish now congregating on their own respected pieces of winter real estate, targeting the same school of fish over and over until you get them to bite has been very productive. A wide variety of lures and baits have worked but it seems like a free lined shrimp or a Berkley Gulp! Sand Eel have been the top baits on my boat.
During the winter months targeting both Redfish and Sheephead is primarily more productive with the outgoing tides. When you think about 72 degree spring fed water dumping out of the rivers compared to 50 degree water rushing in from the Gulf it is no wonder why these fish would warm up to the idea of the out going tide. Sheephead especially love the warmer water that is shed with an out going tide. Considering most Sheephead are in large schools to keep warm and feed together, the slight difference in water temperature could make the difference between a successful day or a head scratcher. Live shrimp, crabs, and oysters work well when targeting Sheephead and you always want to have a spare crab ready just in case one of those 50+lb Giant Black Drum comes rolling in!!!
Keep in mind the end of January, February, and early March is prime time for targeting large Black Drum. Although they are on their own schedule there is nothing like seeing a 1000 fish school of Giant Black Drum all over 20lbs in less than 3 feet of water.
Crystal clear water, Tailing Redfish, Loads of Sheephead, and the possibility of catching a “World Record” sized Black Drum, is what Nature Coast Anglers are looking forward to this month. So if long drag screaming runs and unforgettable fishing fights is what it takes to get you out of your winter funk feel free to give Red Hot Fishing Charters a call today.
Capt. Kyle Messier