Indian River Lagoon Fishing Forecast – January 2023

Shorter periods of daylight and falling water temperatures on the Indian River Lagoon system can present anglers with the best sight fishing conditions experienced all year. With less algae in the water and low water levels on the flats, sight fishing conditions greatly improve, but a stealthy presentation and long cast are critical to entice spooky fish. As the sun warms the water, target sand bars where both redfish and sea trout lay seeking the warmth of the sun’s reflection on sand.

On colder days, target deeper locations where the water is a few degrees warmer and slow down your presentation. Lastly, fish metabolism slows as the water cools, so smaller baits and a very slow retrieval will increase your success in getting that strike.

In freshwater on the St Johns River – As the water temperature cools, both speckled perch (crappie) and American shad will move out of the lakes into the creeks and shallow river flats to spawn. Crappie typically spawns along the shallow edges around structure during the full and new moon periods and once located will present anglers with limits in no time at all. American shad will stage in the deeper corners of the river and move up on the sandy shoals to spawn when the water temperatures and conditions are right. Try slow trolling soft plastic crappie jigs and lures like the Road Runner tipped with a minnow until you locate fish, and then concentrate your efforts matching the same techniques, depth, and area to improve your success.