Mobile Bay / Eastern Shore January 2020

Capt. Dan Kolenich

The water temps are is the 50’s. November and December left us with poor trout fishing on the causeway. All the saltwater on the causeway headed south in October.

So, if you are looking for some trout or redfish action, 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. All of these are local watersheds and will still have some saltwater in the deeper creek beds. I like to drift with the falling tide working a soft plastic on a jig head on the bottom as slow as I can. Explore the small creeks where the creeks flow into these rivers. Don’t be surprised if a red takes your bait. 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.
On warmer days look near the banks instead of the deeper water for reds. 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 it’s shallow with some snags on the bottom a popping cork will do the trick.

If you find a calm day and want to head into the gulf, the near shore rigs are a good bet for trout and reds. You can also try 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. I usually drift Dixie Bar with a 1/2 oz jig head and soft plastic on a falling tide. Be sure to handle these big reds carefully so they can be released. They really aren’t worth keeping since they are not very good to eat.

If you are looking for sheepshead, work the structure around the bay. South of Point Clear and Dog River as well as the rigs in the south end of the bay. Live or dead shrimp on a Carolina rig is the way to go for these tasty guys.

Stay warm and watch the weather, winter is just beginning.

Capt. Dan Kolenich