I’m sure this time of year is a little busy for everyone; I know it is for me hence why I haven’t posted anything in a while. If its not fishing its hunting and if its not hunting its family. This is the time of year most of us fisherman look forward to. The winter months are notorious for the negative low tides and cold-water temperatures. The combination of the two makes for phenomenal fishing! Typically redfish and trout get trapped in the sand holes due to the negative tides. The cold-water temperatures push the pinfish out in the deeper waters so there is not as much food on the flats as there would be in the summer months. The fish seem to become very hungry in these holes for that reason. Artificial lures makes for easy fishing. When choosing artificial bait in the winter we look for bait that can catch a ton of fish and not have the worry of going through bags of plastics. Usually in the winter I use Mirro-o-lure Lil Johns and or the Slayer SSB’s. Both baits hold up really well to the fish, which is very crucial. The biggest issue one might have is getting back into the holes on these super low negative tides. Once you can overcome that obstacle, you can let the fishing begin. You can also throw live shrimp this time of year especially if you have not so avid fisherman with you. Normally if you try and throw shrimp into the sand holes any other time of the year, the pinfish will absolutely devour your shrimp. Before you know it you have gone through ten dozen shrimp by mid morning. Again, the colder water temperatures solve this problem. The pinfish seem to disappear allowing you to use shrimp all winter long. One other problem fisherman are faced with this time of year are the good ol’mullet fisherman. You can see them almost every day running around the flats in search of mullet. In doing so it hurts the fishing for everyone else. When the waters low, the mullet and redfish and trout all tend to go to the same low water stages. Throw a couple mullet boats running around into the mix and now you have a party. Just makes fishing a bit more difficult. In all things aside, the winter months are truly one of the best times to get out and fish in Charlotte Harbor. Plenty of fish to go around for everyone!
If are unable to get your boat safely into the back country there are still plenty of things to fish for this time of year in Charlotte Harbor. One thing I have been doing on my charters when I get the chance is to go a mile or two offshore and look for tripletail and it is a blast. You must have live shrimp to catch these elusive species. It is possible to catch them on artificial’s but they cant seem to pass up a live shrimp. The only thing you do is drive up and down the stone crap traps and look for the laying under the buoys. Once you spot one turn around and free line a shrimp to the buoy. The tripletail will have a hard time passing up that opportunity. Your casting still has to be in order here. If you miscalculate your cast and end up throwing your shrimp on top of the fish 9 times out of 10 he will spook. If you don’t know already, tripletail is amazing to eat! Charlotte Harbor has many things it can offer you this time of year. Be sure to come on down and experience this hot fishing action you will never forget!
Capt. Justin Cauffman