Winter is finally here and the holidays are over. It’s the most depressing time of the year, especially since you can’t go fishing – it’s just too cold. Thankfully, this isn’t true. If you’re smart about it, you can catch plenty of fish during the “deadest” months of the year. Trust me, even the snook fishing can be red hot!
The key to catching fish during winter months is to fish between fronts. When you know that tomorrow the weather is going to be rough, (wind, rain and temps in the low 40’s and 50’s) – go. Go before the weather hits or a day or so after (once things have stabilized a bit). Fish will be feeding before and after since during the front they’ll be focused on not freezing to death.
In order for you to do this I recommend using a weather site. For example, the National Weather Service site.
Finally the Fishy Part
Here are some recent examples. These are the first fish of 2016. May I say, they are certainly some good ones.
Both of these fish were caught just before a huge front slammed into the west coast. The temperature was in the low 60’s when we got to the spot, by the time we left it was about 53 degrees and raining. We both broke off some fish that were significantly larger than the ones we landed.
Catching snook in 52 degree air temps is fun, but holding this guy was like holding ice.
More pre frontal fun! Location: Scumpondville, USA. Bait: Some feathers and hair.
While we’ve mostly been snook fishing, we’ve also picked off quite a few nighttime docklight trout. There are also reds and sheepshead around, especially on docklights. When you hold these fish outside of the water they feel cold, despite somewhat tolerable air temps, the water is much colder.
Therefore, please handle all these fish with care. Revive them and respect the fish, don’t relish a long fight for the sake of it if you can easily subdue and release it. This is especially true of snook, perhaps the least cold tolerant of all our inshore species. This is because the longer a fight wears on the worse it is for the health of the fish.
If you remember 2010 when we had our last bad cold snap, then you remember how many snook died. Above all, respect the fish.
Until next time, Tight Lines!