St. Pete Report By: Capt. Anthony Corcella

Dock Knocking

Who’s ready for this cooler water? It’s coming fast. We start to change our fishing techniques by fishing residential docks and canals, using live shrimp, fiddler crabs and lots of different plastic lures. The lures we like to use are Hookup baits and a good old-fashioned Mission Fishin jig head with a DOA paddle tail, preferably white and gold.

Seems like the redfish and trout move into the canals because of the warmer water. Canals are filled with mud. The mud actually heats up faster than sand on the grass flats. That’s why these fish move in. There’s an old saying that any canals facing North are home for fish in the Winter. Be ready with those shrimp or fiddler crabs as the sheepshead bite will be amazing.

When we are using live shrimp, we prefer a Mustad offset 2/0 hook and a small split shot. It is a deadly combo for those redfish. I like a 7-foot medium action rod.  We just started using the Florida Fishing Products reels. Usually, a 3000 size is the way to go. The products they sell are very good quality. Also, their fluorocarbon leader is phenomenal.

When looking for the dock that’s going to hold fish, take a look at the pilings. Look for oysters and lots of barnacles. Those are the ones you want to fish.  Be careful with casting. Try not to cast on the docks—it tends to aggravate the homeowner. Keep in mind, redfish will be up in the mangroves, as well, this time of year.