Cold mornings may be keeping some anglers in the house, but it has not slowed down some of our great fishing opportunities. Sheepshead continue to be a “go-to” target this time of year, with some great reports coming in from bridges, jetties, and shallow reefs. Fiddlers remain the most consistent bait of choice, however live shrimp will also prove deadly during the cooler months for the sheepshead. Using a slip-float style rig with live shrimp along rock piles inshore this time of year is one of my favorite ways to fish for the sheeps, if heading to the reef(s) I prefer fiddlers rigged carolina style as you will go through A LOT of bait out there. Though becoming more lethargic with the colder water temps, we are still hearing some decent trout reports in 5-10ft of water. Baits you can work slow (finesse baits) are your best bet for trout right now, with the Trout Trick lure still producing well as well as the “Ralph Phillips Special” made by Zman. Reds are schooling up in big numbers, and while sometimes a little more difficult to locate, once you find the school you are likely to be fishing in front of 25-50 fish or more. Live mud minnows, live shrimp, Gulp! baits, and Zman StreakZ are great options to throw to the schooling reds up on the shallow flats. And when all else fails….Don’t forget your cut mullet!!!!!
With a good majority of our bottom fishing species under closure there has not been much activity on the offshore side, but those that have snuck out for some fun on the big pond have reported back that there are still some nice triggerfish in 65-100ft of water (when you can get past all the black sea bass) as well as plenty of the usual porgies and such. Though not really “offshore”, as mentioned on the inshore side the nearshore reefs are beginning to get some decent numbers of sheepshead moving onto them, especially the shallower reefs in 25-35ft of water.
Manager – Haddrell’s Point