Get My Drift

By Joe Sheaffer

As winter takes hold and conditions become a challenge, as anglers we need to think about different presentations that can help us be successful. This time of year, colder water temps and very low water make it very difficult to fish in shallow areas unless you own a shallow running boat. After cold fronts, fish tend to be less active and it can be very difficult to get a bite. One strategy I go to during tough fishing days is finding large grass flats and positioning my boat in 3-5 foot of water drifting with the wind and aided by my trolling motor. I like drifting with the wind, which allows me to make longer casts and allows me to cover more water. I usually use a jig and paddle tail combination and I like to let the fish dictate my presentation.

Many times, the bite will happen during the drop, but there are times when the fish will also bite on the bottom. Don’t be afraid to adjust the weight of your jigs based on how the fish are biting, go lighter if they are striking close to the surface and deeper if they are relating to the bottom. Trout will more than likely be the species of choice but don’t be surprised catching others like Jacks, Ladyfish, Bluefish, an occasional Redfish and others. Using your electronics to mark bites and catches, and by using those marks you can continue to run the same drift over your day on the water to increase your success. This strategy worked great with my daughters last month and we had a blast together. Get your DRIFT on when conditions are tough, good luck and keep casting!