St Petersburg fisherman will enjoy catching Redfish, Trout and Sheepshead this winter season as Florida is anticipating moderate winter weather through January of 2019.
Sheepshead are constantly amongst the most respected targets in winter season, 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, nevertheless, they have a lot of fragile white meat on them, and with a restriction of 15 daily, it’s possible to feed a big household numerous times on a day’s catch.
Sheepshead are generally found in rocky domestic canals, commercial harbours and in ICW cuts in winter. They normally hang near challenging structures where barnacles, mussels and oysters grow considering that 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 also like fiddler crabs, mussels and tubeworms extremely well, for those who make the effort to capture 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 found in deep holes, residential canals and bigger troughs on the flats in winter season, moving further inland if we get a couple of nights listed below freezing. When the water temperature levels drop significantly 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 celebration, this migration occurs every winter.
One approach of finding these fish is to slow troll the canals and much deeper areas 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 most likely to eventually strike it rich.
Fish tend to collect in specific in turning basins at the end of canals, in locations where two canals satisfy, or where a canal has opened a spring circulation undersea. In the rivers, the deep holes that frequently comprise on the exterior of a bend can be prime.
While casting jigs or little swimbaits like the 4-inch Tsunami split tail generally finishes the job on winter trout and reds, there’s no question that live shrimp does even much 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 flow merely let the existing moving it. A DOA 3-inch shrimp is a close 2nd to the genuine thing where there’s moving water.
All this action is particularly attractive due to the reality that it’s extremely easy fishing, with no special casting abilities needed, so it’s an outstanding household pursuit.
Nonetheless, for those who desire 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, especially when northeast winds integrate with a spring low tide around the new or full moon. Practically the entire east coast of Tampa Bay provides great action when these conditions occur, as does the east coast of Sarasota Bay. There are comparable 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 season, and they steadily destroy plastic or live shrimp fished unweighted, in addition to shallow-running jerk baits like the Mirrodine.
All of this action requires a fantastic eye to determine the fish and extraordinary casting abilities 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 established by winter season chill produces the prime-time program to attempt it.
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