Sheepshead and Black Drum should be two of the more abundant species for anglers to target this month if the weather remains cold. Look for these fish near any sort of structure like docks, rocky areas, mangrove roots, and bridge pilings. Sand fleas and fiddler crabs are usually the best baits for these fish, but fresh cut shrimp will also work. During calm periods between cold fronts, anglers may encounter schools of black drum roaming the shallow flats and drop offs. Live shrimp rigged on a HookUp style jig or VMC 7385 2/0 sized circle hook will usually not be ignored when these fish are roaming the flats in search of food. Speckled trout, silver trout, weakfish, whiting, and redfish can be found throughout many of the residential canals in the Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, and Sykes Creek/Newfound Harbor areas. From the Barge Canal in northern Merritt Island to the Mather’s Bridge area, there are plenty of places to search for these species as they seek refuge from the colder water temperatures that we typically experience this month. Small jigs, spoons, and live baits are some of the most effective offerings for these various species.
Captain Jim Ross