Did winter ever get here???
We where hunting and fishing in 85 degrees on Christmas Day!!!
We spent most of December and January in the duck blind, with the warm weather also effecting our daily bag limits.
Many of our trophy clients went home with their birds and (2) two parties even finished up their (32) thirty-two bird North American Waterfowl Slam.
In regards to to the wintertime fishing, with the warmer weather the bait pods never moved out. During that time our “blast and casts” consisting of tailing redfish, huge big uglies (black drum) and bonehead sharks.
Talk about a “Sportsmen Challenge” trying to land a fish while keeping it out of your decoy spread.
Boom and Fish On!!!”
Here’s the skinny:
Trout/Redfish: During wintertime, bluebird days these species can be found sunning themselves in the sand “potholes” and atop the oyster bars of the shallows.
Popping cork with a live shrimp will do the trick. A slow presentation along the edge of the holes with a dark colored soft plastic bait will ensure a solid hook-up.
Black Drum: Acre size schools of black drum can be found swimming, feeding lounging north in the Banana River’s “No Motor Zone.” Live shrimp, dead shrimp and cut clams will account for many hook-ups on the “Big Uglies!!!”
I recommend not using anything lighter than a 20lb test spinning rigs on these giants. Between grinding their heads into the bottom and running back into the school, the lighter rigs will just not hold up during a long battle with these brutes.
Inshore Trolling: Wintertime means trolling deepwater plugs along the deeper edges and troughs of the ICW for post-spawn snapper and grouper. A good bottom finder will result in consistent catches of these prized offshore fish. If the winds will let you, try “slow trolling” with your trolling motor instead of your main engine. If you're not bouncing the plug along the drop-off, your wont be doing any catching.
Sebastian Inlet: Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, sheepshead and drum will account for much of the wintertime catch off the jetties. Silver spoons, jigs and wind cheaters are the inlet angler’s weapon of choice.
For those brave enough to weather the wintertime blows, huge school of “breeder” redfish can be found along the outside edges of both jetties. Please be very gentle when landing these giants. These huge brood fish are our future’s future and should be handled with care.
Offshore: Target large mangrove snappers and trigger fish in 80-95 feet of water. on the way in look for the migrating manta rays & keeps (2) two rods ready for them at all times, a cob jig and a live pilchard on a circle hook. Hang on!!!
“See you on the Boat or in the Blind”
Check back often for the latest fishing and hunting reports and updates by Capt. Jeff.