Happy New Year, everyone! Winter in the Mosquito Lagoon can be a very interesting time of year. Winter’s low water levels tend to concentrate our redfish population into large groups. The black drum which also frequents the shallows during this low and cool water season will likewise school in large groups. For that matter, our spotted seatrout will often group up into schools of hen fish, though in smaller numbers than either red or black drum schools.
Fishing between impending cold fronts will increase our chances for great catches. Anglers fishing the warming trend after an especially chilly cold front will often find awesome action from all three species. Being that feeding activity slows dramatically as a front passes and sometimes shutting down altogether our fish become extra aggressive when the time comes for them to feed!
Live shrimp and artificial lures which imitate them are my preference for the next few months. Whether rigging an Exude Dart in weedless fashion and dragged across the bottom or an Exude Shrimp slowly retrieved above the grass it is often important to fish slowly when it’s cool.
Keep in mind that cool water temps are a subjective thing. When finding 70 degree water in the summer is considered down-right cold finding 70 degree water during the winter season is quite warm. I’m truly happy with water temperatures until it falls below 58 degrees, but I don’t get worried until temps hit 52 degrees or lower.
Once we get to these cold temperatures I will often start my fishing day well after the sun rises. Oft times waiting on sun’s warming effects can lead to great fishing as well as improved visibility. I once heard an old friend call this tactic “Gentleman’s Fishing” because he could sleep in like a normal gentleman. I think I’ll start sleeping in too…