St Petersburg anglers will delight in catching Redfish, Trout and Sheepshead this winter as Florida is expecting moderate winter weather condition through January of 2019.
Sheepshead are constantly amongst the most reliable targets in winter season, and they will continue to be a leading bet for anglers who prefer scrumptious fillets. They’re primarily pan-sized fish 12 to 14 inches long, however, they have a lot of fragile white meat on them, and with a limitation of 15 daily, it’s possible to feed a big family numerous times on a day’s catch.
Sheepshead are generally found in rocky domestic canals, business harbours and in ICW cuts in winter season. They usually hang near tough structures where barnacles, mussels and oysters grow since those are their preferred foods. They utilize their sheeplike teeth to grind the shellfish off the pilings.
Fresh-cut shrimp in 1-inch pieces is all the bait needed for sheepshead, though they likewise like fiddler crabs, mussels and tubeworms extremely well, for those who make the effort to catch 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, domestic canals and bigger troughs on the flats in winter season, moving even more inland if we get a couple of nights listed below freezing. When the water temperatures drop considerably much of these fish will be found gathering together near the power plants in Tampa Bay where there is a warm water source for them. In any event, this migration takes place every winter season.
One approach of finding these fish is to slow troll the canals and much deeper locations 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 season there may be 50 more, so if you put in the time, you’re most likely to ultimately strike it rich.
Fish tend to build up in specific in turning basins at the end of canals, in locations where 2 canals meet, or where a canal has opened a spring circulation undersea. In the rivers, the deep holes that often comprise on the exterior of a bend can be prime.
While casting jigs or small swimbaits like the 4-inch Tsunami split tail typically gets the job done on winter trout and reds, there’s no concern that live shrimp does even much better. Tailhook a whole shrimp on a size 1 or 1/0 circle hook and stroll it gradually along the bottom in the holes, or where there’s strong tide blood circulation merely let the existing relocation it. A DOA 3-inch shrimp is a close 2nd to the real thing where there’s moving water.
All this action is particularly appealing due to the fact that it’s incredibly easy fishing, without any unique casting skills needed, so it’s an exceptional family pursuit.
Nonetheless, for those who desire a bit more trouble, wading the flats in winter season can also produce all 3 types thought about here. Both redfish and sheepshead “tail” in shallow water, especially when northeast winds incorporate with a spring low tide around the brand-new or moon. Practically the entire east coast of Tampa Bay offers great action when these conditions happen, as does the east coast of Sarasota Bay. There are similar chances in the northern bays releasing Charlotte Harbor.
Trout do not tail, however, some huge ones do prowl the holes and runouts in the flats in winter season, and they gradually tear up plastic or live shrimp fished unweighted, in addition to shallow-running jerk baits like the Mirrodine.
All of this action needs a terrific eye to recognize the fish and remarkable casting capabilities to put the bait near them without alarming them. But for those with a desire for the supreme challenge 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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