Capt. Neil Eisner
To catch more fish, you need to try to change things up a bite when you’re fishing the back country. During the winter we have smaller fish around. Change your leader to a twenty-pound test fluorocarbon. As we move through the seasons we beef it up. In the spring I’m using twenty-five pound. By summer I am up to thirty-pound test. During the fall, back off to a twenty-five-pound leader. Before you know it winter fishing is back. I use a Yo-Zuri pink leader because it disappears in the water column. Popping corks work well year-round when fishing for trout. But if you’re fishing for reds and snook in the winter months, put the corks away and try a lead-headed jig. I use a 1/4 oz. I don’t believe the fish like to chase the bait in colder water. They are lethargic and don’t move much. It’s easier for them to just pick the bait up off the bottom with little effort. Circle hooks are also a way you can go. Again, I move down in what size hook I’m using. From a 3/0 in the summer to a 2/0 or even a 1/0 when fishing for sheepshead or trout. Use a split shot about 12 to 18 inches up on the leader. Make sure your leader is two feet long, approximately.
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