Florida Fishing Report: Florida Fishing Charters
Florida Fishing Report
Old Man Winter Pays a Visit
Old Man Winter and his sidekick Jack Frost paid a rare visit to the area last weekend. It was a tough week of fishing while the waters struggled to reach 60 degrees by the end of the week, only to drop again with the passing of a reinforcing system this weekend. Significant cold snaps put a damper on the fishing at this time of year. However, every cloud has a silver lining.
High pressure brings brilliant blue skies and the warm-ups come quickly with recent daytime high temperatures reaching near 80 last week.
Spotted sea trout are the bread and butter of winter fishing on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Larger fish can be found in the ultra skinny water around oyster bars, creek mouths, and adjacent shoreline cul-de-sacs. School-sized fish are found on the edges of the Intercoastal in 4 to 6 feet of water, particularly around the barrier islands. Live shrimp, jigs, and soft plastic jerkbaits get the nod for trout wherever you find them. We took a few silver trout working the grassflats east of the barrier island last week. This likely means they are abundant over hard bottom area just off the beaches, though I have not targeted them.
Docks, bridges and oyster bars are producing redfish, black drum and the ever so present sheepshead. A piece of shrimp fished on a jig head just heavy enough to hold on the bottom is all that is needed to take these species.
Warmer periods are finding pompano on the channel edges and along the shoreline of the passes. Juvenile tarpon and catch and release snook fishing is available in the deeper backwaters. These are two of the most temperature sensitive species we have. Warming trends and southerly winds preceding the cold fronts is when your effort is best applied.
Giant tarpon will be the quest of those who hail from all parts of the world wishing to test their mettle against the greatest, big game fish on earth. Each year tens of thousands of tarpon congregate along our coast in numbers second to none in the world. The beauty of this fascinating species is its character traits of purity and non-discrimination. They will eat anything and grace anyone with their company regardless of their race, creed, color, or income.
For me, the intrigue of
tarpon is found within the theater of serenity, euphoric desertion and
sovereignty that I can share with many who have the same common
ambitions as myself. The
joy of being able to take someone tarpon fishing and to watch their
reaction as that first tap turns wild and the hard pull from the depths
suddenly turns into a spectacle above the water – yes, above – are
bonuses of my profession. The
sounds of the ferocious rattle of the gill rakers, the sight of the
majestic tail walk dance of the silver king or 360 degree back flips,
and the stamina needed for the fight by man and beast is a spectacle for
all senses. These are the experiences of a lifetime and for many of my
clients a challenge we refer to as “our annual calling”.
Newcomers are always welcome and no experience is necessary, but
be prepared…it may well become your annual calling too.
This report is the first of 2006
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Last Update 14JAN06
Florida Fishing Report:
Florida fishing charters