Die hard anglers
Capt. Joel Gant
January 10, 2017
Hernando Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Ok, for you die hard anglers that don't mind the cold, there is still some good fishing to be had even in this colder time of year. You may have to change up your tactics a little. One of the best is to slow down your presentation. When you think you have, slow it down some more. Just think of it this way, with the cold water temperatures, fish are just like us. They get cold and don't want to move around much or expend much energy. Kinda like on a cold Sunday, when you're nice and comfortable in your recliner watching football and the wife walks by and you ask her "sweetheart could you get me a snack". It's the same with fish, they like to hang by their favorite rock till a nice snack drifts by and they grab it. See in both situations very little energy is used. Now with this scientific theory in mind, think of some of the situations you fish. If you're bouncing a jig along the bottom, pause a little longer between twitches and slow the retrieve on top water or subsurface lures and see if this produces a few more bites. You will also notice the bite may be lighter. If you feel heaviness or a small tug, pause for a second then set the hook. When in doubt, set the hook.
That's right, it's that time of year to look for the Convict fish AKA "sheepshead". With the colder waters these fish can be found anywhere there is structure. Look around the rock piles, docks and channel markers. I use a #1 hook with a small weight and a piece of shrimp along with cut up shrimp for chum. Within a short time, you should have some nice sheeps coming into the boat. Size limit is 12 inches and 15 per person to keep. Bait to use: shrimp, crabs or barnacles.
Other inshore species like trout, redfish, black drum and snook can still be caught in the back water areas. In our area, fish around the oyster beds, mangroves and deeper holes, especially if they're near a spring. With the colder water, they will migrate to these warmer areas. The best bait to use is select shrimp, creek cubs and small crabs. With these I like to use a 4/0 circle hook with a small weight and 20 pound fluorocarbon leader spooled with 15 pound braid on the reel. If the bite is slow, try pinfish, cut bait (pinfish or mullet) or select shrimp on a strike indicator (a bobber for the novice). The best time is two hours before and two hours after the high tide. Use caution with these extreme winter low tides we've been having.
Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family!
Capt. Joel Gant operates Fishdaddy Charters out of Hernando Beach, he knows the local waters like the back of his hand, and works both inshore and offshore trips. Check him out on face book or you can reach him at (352) 279-1615 visit his website, www.fishdaddycharter.com
Hernando Beach Fishing Forecast:
sheeps head, trout, redfish, spanish mackerel
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