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Wintertime Fishing

Capt. Joel Gant
January 8, 2016
Hernando Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report

Wintertime Fishing

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 used 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 their 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.
Offshore fishing has been a challenge with the cold fronts, wind and dirty water. For those willing to take on this challenge, there are still a lot of fish to be caught. Grey snapper (grunts), sea bass, gag grouper (can't keep-seasonal), and red grouper are still being caught regularly. Look for them at your rock piles in 20 to 60 feet. Once we start getting some steady warm weather, the Spanish mackerel, kingfish, cobia and shark will be moving into the near shore areas.
For those that fish from shore, this is a great time for you. In our area there are plenty of places to fish. Bayport pier, Jenkins creek pier and park, Aripeka's bridges, seawalls and miles of creek channels along the roads. All these places can product a lot of different fish from redfish, trout, snook, sheepshead and black drum.
Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family!
I'm always looking for reports and pictures. You can email me or stop by my website and become a "FISHHEAD".
Capt. Joel 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. You can reach him at (352) 279-1615 or visit his website, www.fishdaddycharter.com


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Hernando Beach inshore /back country fishing on Florida's nature coast with Capt. Joel Gant check me out at fishdaddycharter.com

Contact Info:

Fishdaddy Charter
4490 Flounder Dr.
Hernando Beach, FL 34607
Phone: 352 279-1615
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Visit his Web Site
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