Homosassa January Fishing Report

Here we go, another great fishing year is just beginning, and even though it may be cold outside, there’s plenty of great fishing action to get it going. The weather can play a huge role on what species we can target this time of year, and some days it’s just too windy and cold to leave the safety of the rivers. When these conditions arise, we’re very fortunate to have the spring-fed rivers, keeping our inshore species warm for the winter season.

Starting your days at the head waters of the rivers, you can encounter a plethora of species, including mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, trout, red fish, lady fish, tarpon, snook, and even largemouth bass. The fish are in the rivers for one reason, warmth; small jigs like the D.O.A. cal shad tail and MirrOLure Lil’ Johns in the darker colors are ideal choices. Slowly working the baits in the deeper pockets, jigging the rocky points along the river bends, or simply anchoring up-tide from the deeper holes and sending down some live shrimp, are three excellent methods for hook-ups. If there are mangrove snapper and red fish around, the shrimp technique is going to be your best bet. Both of these species seldom refuse a live shrimp, and a simple knocker rig with a 1/0 hook and 1/8 oz egg sinker is all that’s necessary for success. Also, bring plenty of tackle; the rocky bottom terrain can claim several hooks throughout the day.

Trout have moved from the grass flats to the harder bottom areas that have oyster and rock nearby. The hard bottom holds heat, and trout will lie in good numbers “sunning” over the bottom. Shallow suspending plugs, like Unfair lures Rip-N-Slash and MirrO’lure Mirrodines work great, as well as DOA glow, soft plastic jerk baits. While easing along the shorelines, and if you hook up, stake out or anchor as soon as possible. There’s likely more in the area, and repeated casting can have repeated success.

On days when it favorable to run offshore, the sheepshead will be waiting on just about every piece of structure that can grow a barnacle. It seems the colder the water, the better for sheepshead. Rock piles, ledges, channel markers, wrecks and artificial reefs are havens for them. Along with the offshore sheepshead, there’s plenty of action with hogfish, grunts and mangrove snapper too. Bring plenty of shrimp and you’ll have a blast.

As always, if you have any additional questions about the area, feel free to contact me. Good Fishing…