Cooler Temps

By: Capt. Billy Norris

Fishing over the last month has been outstanding!  Now that we are fully into the colder months, the water has cooled off and were getting back to a normal wintertime fishing!  Both offshore and backwater have been equally as productive, with a few species standing out above the rest.

Even though we took an incredibly hard hit from Hurricane Ian, fishing has been excellent offshore.  With a surprise closure of red grouper and lane snapper towards the end of the year, we started putting more emphasis on gag grouper, and it didn’t disappoint!  2022 was one of the best gag seasons we’ve seen in several years.  There were plenty of fish ready to bite, with most being keepers (raised from 22 to 24 inches) and some bigger boys closer to 30+ inches coming over the railings.  Cobia have also remained in the area in large numbers throughout the winter.  Cobia can be found in nearly every offshore habitat, from wrecks to reefs to good bottom.  Many times, they simply popup out of nowhere, so always smart to have a rod rigged and ready as a pitch bait for those opportunities.  Snapper have also been active in our coastal waters.  Big lanes, mangroves, and even muttons have made solid appearances at the fillet table.

Backwater has also produced some great fishing action.  Immediately following Ian, there was an unbelievable amount of debris in the water including cars, household appliances, and even a full house sitting on one of the grass flats.  However, due to our State’s rapid cleanup response, the Bay is nearly debris free at this point!  Snook, redfish and trout have all been a hot bite.  Sheepshead have also started to appear in numbers, so try targeting them around docks and oyster bars.

It’s hard to beat a day out on the water, but it’s even better when the fish are biting well!  The action is hot right now, so call today to book a trip with us at Pale Horse Fishing Charters!