By: Eric Henson
As things start to get colder as winter settles in, the fronts begin to get stronger and stronger. The bite will continue to be strong, but you will need to pick your days wisely. The tarpon bite will be pretty much toast but the snook, redfish, and trout bite will be great! This can be one of the best months for catching some of the largest “inshore slams” for our area. The SW Florida inshore slam consists of catching a snook, redfish, and trout all in the same fishing trip. Although these fish can be caught in many different areas, this time of year they will congregate in generally the same areas.
Generally, this time of year we will have strong NE winds. When you combine that with our negative low tides it means we will have lots of low water to fish. When this happens, it pulls most of the fish out of the mangroves and out onto the flats making it easier to find the fish. (Sometimes… LOL!)
I like to look for them cruising the shallows on the leeward side of the wind or staging up in tidal pools. Once you’ve located the fish and before eagerly pitching a lure at them, watch them and see what they are doing so you can make the right plan of action… where to position yourself, what type lure/ fly to use, etc… I promise it will help you catch more fish and make you a better fisherman/or woman in the end.
Because the water temps are pretty chilly this time of the year, the amount of bait fish will become few and far between, when I will use mostly crustacean pattern lures/ flies. Also, the water clarity is generally at its best but, with the red tide do your best to find the cleanest water possible. And, when you do catch fish, please do your best to get it back in the h20 safe and sound. Be safe out on the waters as this time of the year our snowbirds are also back!