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Mild Winter So Far!

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2/1/2015

Hi everyone! Thank you for reading my latest report! It's been a fairly mild winter so I've been on the water plenty. The fishing has been up and down, but for the most part, we've had success. Cold fronts come and go, so the days in between are when we go! There are fewer options this time of year so I'll be writing about the fish we are targeting, and also what's around the corner in the next couple of months. Here is what's going on...
Trout are still our main focus. Mostly using live shrimp around the spoil islands in St. Joseph Sound, we are catching good numbers, although most are smaller than the usual large trout we are used to seeing this time of year. The majority of the bigger trout have been picked through and fewer cold fronts have forced less big females to migrate into the area. Some of my colleagues and I also speculate that the wide spread red tide that hit the counties north of us, may have affected the population of fish that migrate here. Regardless, we are getting a limit of keepers with some work, and a few bonuses from time to time, like pompano or flounder.
Redfish are plentiful around the higher tides, although most are undersized, typical of winter. I have been working some flats with potholes. Winter high tides are lower than summer tides, so edges of flats are still a focus, especially on the outgoing water. Oyster bars that get covered by incoming water are also a focus, as well as throwing under docks that have depth.
Sheepshead are eating the shrimp as long as we use cut pieces threaded onto a smaller hook. I like to add a small splitshot to get the bait to the bottom where the sheepshead can sniff them out. Wait for a steady pull before reeling to get them on the line.
Gag grouper are closed but red grouper are open. They are usually out of my range but for fish catching action, I have been jumping out 6 - 9 miles and hooking a few of both. As spring approaches that fishery will get better and better. Kingfish won't be far behind. Only a couple more months until the bait shows up again and the fishing explodes!
Thanks to all who purchased gift certificates for Christmas. Of course they are available year round! Take a break from the norm and let's get out on the water. The days are warming in to the mid to upper 60's! Very comfortable for winter months. Call now or e-mail here to book your special day on the water. I hope to see you all throughout the year! Let's go fishing!

Capt. Brian

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