The chill of winter is settling into our area, for the first time this year. Its finally starting to feel chilly most mornings and evenings. We've had back to back cold fronts and a wet start to our SWFL winter. Windy and wavy conditions have prevented nearshore fishing, so we've hung out mostly inshore with our charter guests.
Snook have been everywhere looking for food, they have been snatching up most live baits you drop in front of them. On cooler sunny mornings snook lay up in shallow water to warm up, be careful not to get too close to the mangroves, or you will just run them over. Same thing goes for the beach, snook swim right in the breakers. Even on a rough day, they are cruising looking for food. As the mullet move around our beaches and passes you will start to see more BIG snook in the area
Redfish have been hanging around underneath the mangroves, look for deeper water and good mangrove coverage. You are sure to find a redfish. This time of year they LOVE Jumbo shrimp on a jig head or a small pinfish on a circle hook. Cut the pinfish tail a bit, to help get the scent out there. You can use a float but, I often end up with trout this way. Fun to catch, but not to keep this time of year.
Looking for FOOD? Sheepshead, Mangrove snapper and Cobia are also invading out waters. Cobia love Charlotte Harbor during the winter months. They are curious and often pop up or swim by when you least expect it. The last one I caught, chased up a snapper. Capt. Andrew threw a pinfish down next to it and hooked up quickly.