St Petersburg fisherman will delight in catching Redfish, Trout and Sheepshead this winter as Florida is expecting moderate winter season weather through January of 2019.
Sheepshead are constantly amongst the most reliable targets in winter, and they will continue to be a leading bet for anglers who want scrumptious fillets. They’re primarily pan-sized fish 12 to 14 inches long, however, they have a great deal of delicate white meat on them, and with a constraint of 15 daily, it’s possible to feed a big home numerous times on a day’s catch.
Sheepshead are typically found in rocky domestic canals, commercial harbours and in ICW cuts in winter. They generally hang near tough structures where barnacles, mussels and oysters grow because those are their favorite foods. They use their sheeplike teeth to grind the shellfish off the pilings.
Fresh-cut shrimp in 1-inch pieces is all the bait required for sheepshead, though they likewise like fiddler crabs, mussels and tubeworms very well, for those who put in the time to capture these baits. All are best fished on a size 1 to 1/0 circle or octopus hook, with simply adequate enough weight to get the bait to the bottom.
Trout and redfish tend to be found in deep holes, property canals and bigger troughs on the flats in winter season, moving further inland if we get a couple of nights noted below freezing. When the water temperatures drop significantly much of these fish will be found congregating near the power plants in Tampa Bay where there is a warm water source for them. In any occasion, this migration happens every winter season.
One approach of finding these fish is to slow troll the canals and much deeper places of rivers like the Alafia, Manatee and Little Manatee with swimmer-tail quarter-ounce jigs about 4 inches long on trolling motor power. Where you find one trout or red in winter there might be 50 more, so if you put in the time, you’re probably to eventually strike it abundant.
Fish tend to accumulate in specific in turning basins at the end of canals, in areas where 2 canals satisfy, or where a canal has opened a spring flow undersea. In the rivers, the deep holes that frequently comprise on the outside of a bend can be prime.
While casting jigs or little swimbaits like the 4-inch Tsunami split tail typically does the job on winter season trout and reds, there’s no question that live shrimp does even far better. Tailhook an entire shrimp on a size 1 or 1/0 circle hook and walk it gradually along the bottom in the holes, or where there’s strong tide flow merely let the existing moving it. A DOA 3-inch shrimp is a close 2nd to the real thing where there’s moving water.
All this action is particularly attractive due to the reality that it’s incredibly basic fishing, without any distinct casting skills required, so it’s an outstanding household pursuit.
However, for those who prefer a bit more difficulty, wading the flats in winter can also produce all 3 types considered here. Both redfish and sheepshead “tail” in shallow water, particularly when northeast winds incorporate with a spring low tide around the new or moon. Virtually the whole east coast of Tampa Bay supplies excellent action when these conditions occur, as does the east coast of Sarasota Bay. There are similar chances in the northern bays releasing Charlotte Harbor.
Trout do not tail, nevertheless, some big ones do prowl the holes and runouts in the flats in winter, and they steadily wreck plastic or live shrimp fished unweighted, as well as shallow-running jerk baits like the Mirrodine.
All of this action needs a fantastic eye to identify the fish and exceptional casting abilities to put the bait near them without alarming them. However for those with a desire for the ultimate difficulty of the inshore flats, this is it– and the clear water developed by winter chill produces the prime-time program to attempt it.
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