As the pages of the calendar turn to the new year, the offshore playing field east of Stuart will display a new profile in the form of winter-time fish that will settle into their January habitats among the reefs and wrecks just outside of the St. Lucie Inlet. Schools of kings, Spanish mackerel and lane snapper will congregate this month and populate known, preferred reef areas. While most species of fish can be found over a wide area in our local zone, these fish seem to have a predilection to certain spots, like the offshore Peck Lake/ Kingfish Hole, the 140 King Numbers, and the Sand Pile (the Texas Reef), just to name a few. Local knowledge of the preferred and proven fish haunts will be the primary component to any angler`s chance for success. Anglers can search out for GPS numbers for many of Stuart`s reef locations by logging on to www.martinreefs.com. This website will give one an expansive selection of all of Martin County`s offshore Artificial Reefs.
The seasonal conditions associated with the Florida winter, will be firmly in place in January`s near coastal fishing zone. This month, the steady and rhythmic procession of cold fronts will have patterned the way these fish feed and move through this zone. Given the proper, user-friendly weather window, anglers will be able to ply honey holes in depths from 35 to 70 feet of water, where pelagic and resident fish, frequent for feeding and spawning. Live bait should be available in abundance by January, however, anglers should always bring a good selection of dead baits (like Spanish sardines, ballyhoo, and squid) in case live bait is not easily found. Spoons and jigs should always be part of good offshore tackle box, so don`t forget to bring a selection of artificial baits or lures, along with whole dead baits. A good selection of frozen baits and jigs will always compliment a live well full of ammo and give January`s offshore angler endless options as they dial in the desired fish catching strategy.
So, in January, watch the weather, find your fish-friendly window and keep your offshore strategy options open, as this will be the month to make your main resolution come true- and that will be to fish more for a happy New Year!
FORECAST BY: Capt. Rocky Carbia
Pirates Cove Resort and Marina
4307 SE Bayview St. Port Salerno, Florida
Reservations: (772) 334-4411