Winter Fishing

By: Capt. Bart Marx

Hello fellow anglers, February 2023 can you believe we’re already into the New Year?  This is the time of year that the sheepshead will be all along the coastal docks and close reefs and also the time of year that they spawn offshore. The close reefs that are in forty feet or less would be a great place to start. There are some natural ledges that would hold these convicts. Sheepshead like crustations like shrimp, sand fleas, and fiddler crabs, etc. Use a small hook 1/0 or smaller and a small piece of bait their mouth is small. I like to use a twenty-pound suffix clear mono leader and a one-ounce egg weight with the hook at the end, a knocker rig. I use VMC hooks and suffix fishing line twenty-pound performance braid hi vis yellow. When I tie on my leader I think of a fly rod, I make the leader as long as the rod itself. This way it keeps the hook away from the colored line as not to spook the fish. Doing this same rig in the same areas with live shrimp you may find flounder in the same areas. This also is the time of year that they wander offshore and get along the beaches too. Trout can be found along the bars on the deeper sides searching for unsuspecting bait to ambush. A typical trout rig is a quarter ounce jig head with a shrimp and a popping bobber. Or if you find a hungry school of them you may try some top water lures, like a Zara spook or a devils horse. They will also feed on suspending lures like the catch 2000 or a mirror-dine suspending lure or going back to the popping bobber you may use a gulp shrimp three inch. I buy the three-color tubs they last longer. If you would like to come along with Capt. Bart to learn some of these techniques or you are new to the area and have your own boat, I can come along with you on a training trip. And if you have guests coming from out of state, I have the license and the gear to get the job done!