What’s hot- With passing cold fronts over the next few months, many shallow areas will become havens for fish seeking warmer waters. South facing shorelines will warm quicker in frosty mornings, as the sun travels over the southern skyline. These flats are also protected from north winds and will sustain heat longer. Speckled trout and redfish will lay up in sandy potholes and become opportunistic feeders- meaning that easy meals that cross through these feed zones will get eaten. Soft plastics work great for this time of year as they can often times be worked at all depths of waters and are eratic in action. Darkers colors in rootbeer and turtlegrass green have a tendency to blend in with the terrain and help disguise the offering. Downsizing tackle is key during the winter months as the water is extremely clear. Ten pound braided line combined with 15-20 pound fluorocarbon leader works best as it allows long casts and a stealth presentation. When live baiting, try to get select shrimp from tackle shops , when available, to fish with. Tail-hooking the shrimp will allow the weight forward and make extra long casts to weary gamefish.
Finding Fish- Two of the most important tools in wintertime sightfishing for inshore gamefish are polarized glasses and a quiet mode of transportation. Use of a trolling motor or a push pole will allow anglers to quietly work a flat or edge where fish will lay up. Be sure to always have the sun at your back when possible, as this makes it much easier to spot the desired species. On low tides work the dropoffs of flats , as many fish will hold there to ambush prey in condensed zones.