Welcome back yak fans. Well, another year, another Christmas and another Birthday! As the old saying goes, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would’ve taken better care of myself.” As a member of the generation of don’t trust anybody over 30 and hope I die before I get old, my generation is now meeting AARP! What’s up with that? But hey, we had the 60s and if it weren’t for us, there would be no classic rock. So now that I’ve reflected on the past years, lets reflect on this last year. 2019 gave us fishing closures, some scary weather and one of the wildest years politically since 2012. At least we came through it all to a new year and, hopefully, a resolution to fish often, enjoy life more, stay close to those who count and read my column once a month (LOL).
On to fishing. As the days get colder, it offers some great fishing for the intrepid among us. The out flow at the power plant on the Anclote is a great spot in the winter months, either from the pier or in your kayak along the barrels. You will find cobia, pompano, reds and, of course, lady fish, jacks and other species stacking up in there when the plant is running. Please be aware, this is an on-demand plant and it doesn’t run all the time. Soft plastics, shrimp, pompano jigs and cut bait work well. This is also a good place to work a spoon if it’s not too crowded.
Ozello reports a good trout bite, but the reds are scattered. I wish I knew where the schools are running. Maybe, I’ll find them this weekend–I need my monthly Ozello fix.
For the shore guys, another place that’s on fire right now is Jenkins Creek Pier in Hernando County. Friends of mine caught reds and trout there the other day using an electric chicken fluke tail jig. Jenkins Creek Pier is a good winter spot due to the spring directly behind it in Linda Pedersen Park. In your own areas, any spring-fed creek should be holding fish looking for warmer winter temps. Locally, the black drum are moving in, usually on the incoming tide. The drum are usually only going to hit a shrimp. I’ve found that pinching the head off the shrimp works best to get the scent out. On an interesting note, the best way I’ve found to carry live bait (i.e. shrimp) on the kayak is with a soft pack cooler. What you do is put a brick of blue ice in the bottom, then make a nest for the shrimp with newspaper. Moisten the paper and put your shrimp in dry. In other words, don’t add any more water than the wet newspaper. This will keep the shrimp alive and kicking for over 24 hours. The last time I went out, I picked up some bait at 6 a.m. Saturday and forgot about them. Then at around 6 p.m. Sunday, I went to the car, opened the cooler and six shrimp jumped out at me. This system works! The other nice thing is there is no bait bucket bubbler on O2 to deal with and it’s compact. Give it a try and let me know.
I’d like to mention that this is my fourth New Year with The Coastal Angler, and their success is all because of you our readers and advertisers. Thanks. All right, I’m going to wrap it up for this month, so here’s wishing you all a happy New Year and tight lines.