St Petersburg fisherman will enjoy catching Redfish, Trout and Sheepshead this winter season as Florida is anticipating moderate winter weather condition through January of 2019.
Sheepshead are constantly among the most respected targets in winter, and they will continue to be a leading bet for anglers who want delicious fillets. They’re mainly pan-sized fish 12 to 14 inches long, however, they have a lot of vulnerable white meat on them, and with a limitation of 15 daily, it’s possible to feed a large family a number of times on a day’s catch.
Sheepshead are typically discovered in rocky domestic canals, business harbours and in ICW cuts in winter. They typically hang near tough structures where barnacles, mussels and oysters grow because those are their favorite 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 take the time to catch these baits. All are best fished on a size 1 to 1/0 circle or octopus hook, with simply sufficient enough weight to get the bait to the bottom.
Trout and redfish tend to be discovered in deep holes, domestic canals and larger troughs on the flats in winter season, moving even more inland if we get a few nights noted below freezing. When the water temperatures drop drastically much of these fish will be discovered 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.
One technique of discovering 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 discover one trout or red in winter season there may be 50 more, so if you put in the time, you’re most likely to eventually strike it abundant.
Fish tend to collect in particular in turning basins at the end of canals, in locations where 2 canals meet, or where a canal has opened a spring flow undersea. In the rivers, the deep holes that typically make up 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 question that live shrimp does even far better. Tailhook an entire shrimp on a size 1 or 1/0 circle hook and walk it slowly along the bottom in the holes, or where there’s strong tide circulation simply 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 fact that it’s incredibly simple fishing, without any unique casting abilities required, so it’s an outstanding family pursuit.
However, for those who want a bit more trouble, wading the flats in winter can also produce all 3 types considered here. Both redfish and sheepshead “tail” in shallow water, especially when northeast winds integrate with a spring low tide around the brand-new or full moon. Practically the whole east coast of Tampa Bay offers great action when these conditions happen, as does the east coast of Sarasota Bay. There are comparable opportunities in the northern bays letting go Charlotte Harbor.
Trout do not tail, nevertheless, some big ones do prowl the holes and runouts in the flats in winter, and they gradually wreck plastic or live shrimp fished unweighted, along with shallow-running jerk baits like the Mirrodine.
All of this action needs a fantastic eye to determine the fish and exceptional casting capabilities to put the bait near them without alarming them. However for those with a desire for the ultimate challenge of the inshore flats, this is it– and the clear water developed by winter chill produces the prime-time program to try it.
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