HOLIDAY FISHING AND WINTER TACTICS!November 30, 2023
Fishing Report – January 20th, 2024January 20, 2024
Here is the January 4th, 2024 fishing report. My reports are published in the Tampa Bay Times every 4th and 20th of the month! Thank you for reading, and I look forward to getting you all out on the water soon! Capt. Brian.
Well, we made it into the new year and as usual, we are looking forward to a few cold fronts in the month of January. It’s typical to catch fish all through the cooler temperatures, however, the main factor is how quickly the fish acclimate to drops in temperature. Big swings from highs in the 80s to lows in the 40s can confuse fish and disrupt their feeding patterns. Once colder temperatures stabilize for a period of time, most fish, especially trout, begin to normalize and cooperate. Lately, water temperatures have been hovering just above 60° in the morning and up to the mid 60s by afternoon. Trout have been responding well by mid day in the northern Pinellas region.
Several bigger fish have moved into St. Joseph Sound and along the flats from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. I expect the temperatures to drop even further in the coming weeks, forcing most anglers to change tactics and species as well.
Sheepshead are one of the most cooperative fish throughout the colder months. Pitching cut pieces of shrimp underneath docks and around pilings will produce a few of these black and white striped, and quite toothy critters. The art of scraping pilings with a shovel is an old tactic to attract them to your area. The smell of the barnacles and other growth that they feed on creates a chum line that they will often respond to if the conditions are right. I like to thread a cut piece of shrimp onto a small #2 hook accompanied by a #2 split shot. Sheepshead cannot resist a good piece of cut shrimp.
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