January 16, 2009
Looks like the latest c-c-c-cold f-f-f-front has invaded the T-t-t-treasure C-c-c-coast and brought some cold nights and cool days for a few days. Staying warm is part of preparing for your trip on the water. I broke out the ol' long handles this week in order to make fishing a little more comfortable. I called the Fishing Center in Fort Pierce to see if they stocked ice augers!!
Fishing will change as the water temperatures drop rapidly over the next several days. Looking for fish in deeper water will help improve your catch. Try fishing areas that might help keep the water warmer. Concrete seawalls can retain heat from the sun and keep water a little warmer than the surrounding water. Look to the shallows later in the day as the sun warms up the water. Fishing your lures or bait very slowly will also give you a better advantage.
Bob Baker was back this year to visit with his dad, Tom. We ventured out on a nice day and found the trout in the mood to eat as well as the usual ladyfish and jacks. Both caught their share of nice trout up to 20" and filled in the day with the ladies, jacks and bluefish on the flats. Tom Hull was down from Melbourne and we launched from Round Island on a windy day on the Indian River. It was just as this cold front had made it into the area. I didn't expect the fish to cooperate as much, but I needed to run the boat and do some scouting around the area. Harbor Branch has steadily been producing trout. We found them on the flats with DOA CAL jerk baits. I have been using the silver mullet and Arkansas glow colors a lot lately and having good success with them. Ladyfish and jacks kept us busy on some of the trout flats as well. We stealthily made our way onto some of the better redfish flats and found a couple of hungry reds along the mangroves and shallow flats to end up with a good day of fishing in less than desirable conditions.
Trout fishing will change this next week to deeper water. Try channel edges for some good action and deeper tidal cuts around the islands. Docks and the bridges will be great areas as well to find fish hanging around to keep warm and wait for an easy meal to drift by with the tides. Bridges will produce sheephead, sand perch and snapper. You can't beat a slow worked DOA shrimp around the docks. Redfish will be a little more tolerant of the cold water, but getting them to bite might be a challenge for a few days. I generally like to move out the three to five feet of water when the sun is high to find fish trying to feed and keep warm. The jetties will continue to hold jacks, mackerel and bluefish, while the surf should have plenty of whiting and pompano cruising along the beach.
Tip of the Week:
Remember to slow down your retrieve and approach around the flats. Fish are lethargic in cold water and will be slower to react to bait or lures as well as your boat moving along the flats. Trout will hang in the deep sand holes and will be more likely to hit a slow moving lure. If you are drifting too fast, you will see lots more fish than you will catch. Slow it down and improve your catching in cold water.
As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!
Good Fishing and Be Safe,
Captain Charlie Conner www.fishtalescharter.com
DOA CAL jerk baits work great on redfish!