“Happy New Year”,
January 2012 Forecast
January will find us dodging cold fronts. Fish a few days before the front hits and again a few days after it passes. There are some great days to be on the water during winter, timing is everything.
Now the water temperature will be consistently below 65, and most of the time around 60. St Joseph Sound and Clearwater will hold some of the biggest gator trout on the west coast of Florida.
Start drifting grass and sand areas in two to four feet of water. Try casting with a 1/8 or 1/4 ounce lead head w/plastic tail. Bounce your artificial along the bottom and through the sand holes. Keep the movement and retrieve slow. If there are no takers, try a different drift until fish are found. Usually there are more in the same location.
Some of the biggest 24+ inch trout will be caught using this method. I like my plastic tail jigs to have a white belly and either root beer, dark green or new penny type color. Also, some flashy glitter mixed in helps the action.
Redfish may be found back in the mangrove cuts near oyster beds, the channels leading to the back waters and around docks. They want always be schooled up in large numbers so look for scattered reds in the shallows. Throw a nice size, tail hooked shrimp when spotted, it will not be refused. When looking under docks, always toss a free line live shrimp under the docks you are checking. You may be surprised.
Don’t let the cold fronts keep you dry docked. Fishing is excellent in the winter. Grab your jackets and come on out.
Capt. Gary Burch