Steinhatchee January Fishing Report

January is the second coldest month in the Big Bend area.  It is the warm-up act for February.  Generally, it is cold in the morning and warms up to tolerable, or better by the afternoon.  Layered clothes are best as opposed to one bulky coat.  That way one can peel off clothes as the temperatures rise, or keep them on if it doesn’t.  A water-proof outer shell is wise, as wet turns to cold quickly, and cold is miserable.  Hats and gloves are smart.  Fishing is supposed to be fun, not an endurance exercise.

When the weather turns cold, trout and other fish will stack up in the river, just a little bit more than the boats on top of them.  Boating and fishing etiquette are often what you’d expect to see of manners at a riot.  I’m not into that style of fishing; but many are, and the catching can be excellent.  The catching is a switch; either it is on or off.  Shrimp, jigs and twitch baits are the go-to baits.
On bluebird days, speed catching delicious sea bass is a wonderful activity to shake cabin fever.  The sea bass are on the spawn and ravenous.  Sea bass will eat almost anything; try chicken skin.  A five-pound block of squid will outlast your wrist.  I like using a half ounce jig-your choice of adornment-with a couple of dropper lines, spaced a foot apart on a chicken rig.  Light tackle puts the fun in the disfunction.

This is a great time to bring the children, as the action is non-stop.  Kids should use a knocker rig instead of multi-hook arrangements.  Be prepared to do much hook baiting, fish removal and untangling; your fishing will be, at best, part-time.  Some of the entanglements will be a quantum leap above the enigma.  Don’t let it get to you.  Simply cut away the frustration and start fresh.  Have extra poles on standby to avoid the blurting chatter while you are re-rigging.  Be prepared is not just for the Boy Scouts; it’s a means to have a lovely time with the kids.
The location is any hard bottom twenty feet or a little further.

Happy New Year! Looking forward to a New Year and many more New Memories!