Head to the Passes

By: Joe Sheaffer

Many anglers in Southwest Florida stop fishing the beaches during the colder months. The colder water temps and cooler weather definitely affects activity along the surf. The weather is amazing, but fishing can be tough. I really like to fish on our beaches so I’m going regardless of the fishing conditions. During the winter months I like to fish near and around our passes. There are a few near my home and I try to fish those areas when I need a beach fix. Passes are key areas to fish year-round as they are the gateway for fish entering the bays from the Gulf of Mexico and vice versa fish heading from the bays to the gulf. There is always current because of the tide and any structure near or around the current will hold fish. Some passes have rock jetties, sea walls, rock booms and just debris from the in and out flow of current every day. Because of the constant flow of water there usually will be plenty of bait near or around or passes. The funneling of water, structure and the presence of bait increase our chances as anglers to catch fish. There are many presentations that can be effective. Jigs, spoons, live bait rigs are a few of these presentations that can produce positive results. Recently I fished the Boca Grande Pass after a cold front. I focused my efforts on eddies formed by the tide change. I worked a jig with a 3-inch paddle tail, popping it off the bottom. I hooked a couple of fun sized Permit, what a blast. I didn’t have many bites, but the day was definitely a success, well worth my time and effort. Head toward the passes during the colder months you never know what you might catch. Good luck and keep casting.