Mobile Bay / Eastern Shore January 2019

By: Capt. Dan Kolenich

The water temps are in the 50’s. All the saltwater on the causeway has gone south for the winter. And with that the shrimp have moved south to the gulf and the trout have followed. At least until the weather starts to warm-up next spring and the saltwater starts to move up the bay. On cooler days, look in the deeper parts of the rivers and creeks that flow into Mobile Bay like Bon Secour River, Fish River, Magnolia River, Dog River, Fowl River, and the Theodore Industrial Canal. Explore the small creeks in these rivers especially where the creeks flow into these rivers. Don’t be surprised if a red takes your bait. On warmer days look near the banks instead of the deeper water. Work your bait slow and expect bites to be soft and slow. Live or dead shrimp on a carolina rig on the bottom are a good bet. If you’re fishing artificial bait, my favorites are a Mirrolure Glad Shad or High Tide Shrimp soft plastic on a jig head. I start with a white/chartreuse, root beer/chartreuse, chartreuse/red, or natural shrimp rigged on a 3/8 oz jig head and if they don’t go for that I go home and come back the next day.

By December the red fish were hard to find on the causeway. January has the causeway flushed with fresh water. Look to the creeks and deeper holes to find some salty water and maybe a few reds.

If you find a calm day and want to head into the gulf, the near shore rigs are a good bet as well as Sand Island Lighthouse and Dixie Bar for Bull Reds. Send a live croaker or pin fish to the bottom and let the bait do the work.

Stay warm and watch the weather, winter is just beginning. I think I’ll head for the Bahamas and chase some bonefish

Capt. Dan Kolenich