Backcountry Extreme Fishing Forecast – January 2019

Cold front, cold front, cold front – one right after another, but there is a silver lining. With just a little patience, catching fish is the big payoff. After the fronts pass, the second or third days are the best days to fish as the winds usually have died down and temperatures have stabilized.

Look to the potholes on the open flats, or darker bottoms to produce early in the morning. As the sun gets up higher in the morning sky the fishing activity will pick up. Red-fish and spotted sea trout will feed in areas where the water temperatures are the warmest – even a 1 to 2 degree temperature change can make a difference. If you do not have a temperature gauge you can go buy a pool thermometer, tie it on a string and help you find out the key areas to target. If you are fishing around islands or creek mouths, target the side that the sun raises on – this side will warm sooner and will hold fish. Remember to downsize your bait and fish them a lot slower than normal in most cases depending on temperatures. There is no such thing as too slow.

Use a little patience and wait for the flats to warm up then catch ‘em up. Food forage for the predators has now changed from mullet and small baitfish to shrimp and crabs. Winter feeding habits are now past the transition phase. Recommended baits are DOA Shrimp, DOA Crabs, and Johnson gold spoons. Quarter ounce jig heads with small soft plastics will still work, as will top- water lures – remember slow retrieve for more bites. Stay warm, dress in layers, and remember to hydrate – with low humidity your body needs water.