With the changing of the seasons and the slight plunge of mercury in the thermometer, winter fishing is still completely viable in Florida due to its tropical year-round climate. Winter fishing in Florida can be very productive if you know what to target, the best bait or lures to use, and the best areas to focus on. Though, with the change in temperature, the normal behaviors of fish can change, and different species of fish migrate to our waters. Continue reading to learn more about six beautiful species of fish to target this winter!
A member of the porgy family, sheepshead generally migrate to inshore waters from November through February. You can often find sheepshead near piers, docks, pilings, seawalls, and oyster bars. Use a size 1 hook (smaller hooks work better because sheepshead have small mouths and are notorious bait stealers) rigged with shrimp, a small crab, or barnacles.
Water clarity in the backcountry estuary environments is at a peak during the cooler months of the year, making it easier to locate seatrout on the grass flats near sandy potholes. One of the best rigs for winter trout fishing is a soft plastic shrimp lure on 15 to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader beneath a popping cork.
Target winter redfish along mangrove shorelines up in brackish spring-fed rivers, around bends or deep holes, where the water temperature tends to stay more constant following a cold front. You can use a soft plastic shrimp, or try the Ned rig, which is most commonly used for winter bass fishing, but works equally as well for targeting redfish during the cooler months of the year.
As a highly migratory species, pompano can be found moving up and down Florida coastlines seeking water temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees. When fishing in winter from the beach or shoreline, try casting shrimp-tipped jigs out into the surf using a light inshore spinning rod.
Black drum can be targeted in bays or estuaries around rocks, deeper holes, and pilings as well as offshore around structure near mud, sand or shell bottom. Use either shrimp or blue crabs on a conventional bottom rig with sinker and a 1/0 or 2/0 circle hook to match bait size.
Found nearshore and offshore from central to south Florida tripletail are most often spotted around channel markers and crab trap buoys. Use a live shrimp on a 2/0 circle hook rigged underneath a popping cork for your best chance of success.
Now that you know a little bit more about which maritime species populate our waters this time of year, all you are missing is a professional fishing charter to take you out on the water and reel in the catch of your life. We offer a wide array of options, including inshore and offshore trips, that are suitable to anyone’s preferences. Browse our selection online to find the best fishing charter for you and prepare to set sail with Captain Daddy on a trip that you will never forget!