A few bitter cold days may have slowed down the number of anglers hitting the water the past week, but it has not slowed down the fishing from the reports we have been getting in. Fantastic numbers of redfish (sometimes 100+ fish in a school) have been schooling up on the low tide flats and are eagerly taking all kinds of baits. Gulp! jerkshads, Gulp! swimming mullet, Zman’s PaddlerZ series, and Zman’s Ultra Shrimp (add Pro Cure scent!!) have all been deadly artificial baits to throw to the schooling reds. In addition to the artificials, old stand-by baits such as mud minnows and cut mullet are also very effective this time fo year. Sheepshead are still feeding heavily along structure in 8-20ft of water with fiddler crabs, oysters, and barnacles being the top bait choices. Though often over-looked by many anglers, the balck drum bite has also been pretty consistent lately. Look for them around structure (often the same places you like to fish for sheepshead) in 6-20ft of water. Cut shrimp is hard to beat for the drum, but Gulp! shrimp and many other cut natural baits can all be very effective.
With Grouper season closing on Jan 1, the oppurtunities to sneak offshore this time of year have been pretty limited. That being said, some very nice triggers have come in from 60-90ft of water as well as a strong sheepshead bite on our nearshore reefs. If you decide to target any of our nearshore reefs for the sheeps, weakfish, and black drum I would recommend starting on the shallower reefs (25-35ft of water). Drop your favorite color 4″ grub on a 1/2oz grub head down to the structure for the weakfish, and fiddlers or oysters will be your best bet for the sheepshead.
Manager – Haddrell’s Point