Head South For Big Fish This Winter

By Darcie Arahill

As the holidays approach and temperatures drop, many will feel the need to scratch that fishing itch. There is no better place to catch your next trophy this winter than down in sunny south Florida.

If it’s monster offshore pelagics you seek, winter offers some of our best fishing. Take your boat or book a charter out of Stuart, Fla.—aka “The Sailfish Capital of the World”—and you are sure to land a sailfish, a bucket list fish for many. Mahi, cobia, kingfish and wahoo will also be biting. Our average January high of 74 degrees will also quickly quench your thirst for warmer weather.

North of Palm Beach, we do a lot of trolling, and south you’ll find live baiting very popular, so don’t forget your sabiki rod.

No boat? No problem. We have multiple beach-access points where you can catch your fill of Pompano, whiting, bluefish, snook and more, maybe even a permit or bonefish. In Martin County, check out Stuart Beach, Hobe Sound Beach and Tiger Shores. Excellent jetties and piers include Juno Pier, Ft. Pierce Inlet and Sebastian Inlet, where I recently limited out on redfish one day and caught an inshore slam the next!

Fishing off the beach, a “pompano rig” will catch a ton of species and even cut bait on the bottom with a pyramid sinker will work. For lures, I like topwaters in the morning and after that I throw lipped crankbaits and paddletail swimbaits.

Regarding inshore saltwater, I love fishing from the Saint Lucie Inlet north to Ft. Pierce. Under the docks and along the mangroves you will find snook, redfish and trout, as well as flounder and drum in deeper holes and channels. If you can’t find any mullet to net, a simple live shrimp and a bobber will catch everything and anything. If you do not have a boat, walk the shoreline for some incredible wade fishing. I caught my first snook wading the docks in Ft. Pierce many years ago.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you bass guys! Our incredible bass fishing this time of year starts with the largemouth spawn and plenty of crappie on Lake Okeechobee. I also love Camp Mack in Lake Wales, Fla. Mix up your freshwater game with abundant exotic species fisheries featuring clownknife fish, peacock bass, hybrid bass and even the bullseye snakehead. You will catch exotics in any of the Lake Clarke, Lake Osborne or Lake Ida chains in Palm Beach County.

If you have any questions, Google “Darcizzle Offshore” to find my Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, website, podcast and e-mail to drop me a note.

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