The cooler temperatures have limited the variety of species in our waters, but the water is getting clear, and the fish are in some big tight schools.
Inshore fishing is pretty much down to 4 species: redfish, trout, black drum and sheepshead.
The fishing has been good, and we have been having some amazing sight fishing on light wind sunny days, with both redfish and trout on the flats.
The redfish have really bunched up into larger schools and are staying shallow for warmth and protection.
Live and dead bait has been working best on a float and or Carolina rig, but the bite on soft scented plastic baits has been really good as well.
The sheepshead and black drum have been holding tight to structure such as docks, blowdowns, and rock walls with shrimp, fiddler crabs, and oysters working best near the bottom.
The sea trout are in large schools aggressively feeding on soft plastics with a slow retrieve, on warmer days have been finding them closer to the banks in 3-5ft of water, and cooler days staging on the ledges in 8-15ft.
The key has been using light fluorocarbon leaders 8–12-pound test, with a slow retrieve just barely bouncing along the bottom with a 1/8 to a 1/2 oz jig head.
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The nearshore and reef fishing has been good with mostly bottom fish such as: black sea bass, sheepshead, with a few red and black drum fishing near the bottom of the water column.
Larger sheepshead is on the reef and really grouped up on certain pieces of structure and can be quite productive when you can keep your baits away from the hungry seabass.
The best thing about this time of the year on the water is the lack of crowds on the water and the boat landings.
The colder weather slows most things down, so remember to slow your retrieve and presentation to get the fish cooperate.
Patience has been our best friend when targeting wintertime fish around the inshore waters. Bundle up, stay safe, and take a kid fishing to preserve the future of the outdoors.
– Tight Lines,
Captain John Ward
Give us a call at 843-693-2460 or look us up on the web at www.affinitycharters.com
One of our captains can help get you out for an enjoyable day on the water.
Captain John Ward / Affinity Charters
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