Winter has arrived early here in central Florida. With temperatures the next couple days twenty degrees below normal fishing will be best during the middle of the day. For the past couple weeks, wind and clouds have been our biggest challenge. The redfish have been tailing and willing to eat. For most anglers, casting in the wind makes accuracy difficult. Fortunately, the seatrout bite was outstanding prior to the latest cold snap.
On a cold, windy and rainy morning last month, Ralph, and Sal caught too many trout to count using a DOA Deadly Combo. With no rain gear, the cold drove them to call it quits early.
The middle of the week brought some nice weather with sun and light winds. Danny had shots at redfish and big trout throughout the day. He hooked several nice trout on five inch Cal's.
Thanksgiving day, Paul and his daughter Ashley, visiting from California, had a great morning catching dozens of seatrout with the Deadly Combo. We went on to the flats and found some schools of tailing black drum along with scattered redfish. Paul landed the biggest fish of the day, a nice black drum.
By Saturday the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Teen anglers Conner and Austin were hoping for some redfish and wanted to go despite the poor forecast. The morning began cloudy but calm and the redfish were happy and tailing. Conner landed a redfish right off the bat. The rain soon began falling and the wind picked up. With no rain gear to wear, both guys tried to stick it out but the cold got the best of them and I took them in. Since it was so early, I went back out to see what I could find. Spotting the fish was tough but I did find some groups of happy tailing redfish and landed five on three inch Cal tails.
Last week Dean and Doug fished with me on another blustery day. With plenty of sun, spotting the fish was the easy part, casting was tough. Both guys landed a nice redfish and had plenty of shots throughout the morning.
After their five hour trip, I went back out to do a bit of sight fishing myself. Within an hour, six redfish to 32 inches were landed on a 3" CAL tail and a black 1/4 oz jighead. The fish are definitely hungry and eating.
So far this week, high winds and cold have kept me off the water but things look to be improving as the week goes on. The redfish and drum will continue to form their winter schools. Casting at schools means your accuracy does not have to be as good as when casting at singles. However, spook one fish in the school and they will all take off. Sometimes they stop and settle down, sometimes they do not. Approach schools with extreme caution and stealth and pick your shot carefully. Small baits such as the DOA shrimp and crab are my pick when the winds are light. When it starts blowing, a three inch tail on a jig will cast better.