Hernando County  By: Capt. Gary Strickland  


Fishing has been awesome. The bite has been very consistent and will remain that way for the next several weeks. One of the most import factors to be considered through February is to understand that these fish are cold.

Our shallow water is very temperamental and can have huge swings overnight with these cold fronts. When the water cools, these fish seek shelter. Trout, redfish, snook, black drum and sheepshead will all look to find a warmer source of water to keep warm. Sometimes this may be deeper water such as channels or potholes. Some fish will even push back up into some of the rivers and springs.

Find the warmer water and you will find the fish. Most of our in-shore fish are looking to come back out of these shelters as soon as possible. So, right after a front passes and we have a few sunny days, many of these fish will move back out to the shallower water and feed.

Muddy bottom is also an important factor to be considered during the cooler months. Mud bottom will retain just a bit more heat and redfish, trout and snook love it. We have been using mostly free-lined shrimp or, in rocky areas, we will throw with a popping cork. Shrimp is a very easy source of food, and these fish will never refuse it.

I will throw some artificials when we get some of the good tide swings and have enough water to really troll back into the creeks and back country. White soft plastics with a chartreuse tail have been working great in the creeks for reds and trout.  I hope everyone has a great month catching fish.

Tight lines.