I, and all the other local captains, have seen enough of the cold and windy conditions endured in January! Hopefully, February will not be quite so challenging. The water temperatures are in the low 50’s in the river, and colder in shallower water until midday warming. The best fishing has been in creeks off the ICW after they warm in the sun. The dark bottoms act as solar collectors pushing temps into the high 50’s, which is all the redfish need to start feeding.
Other fish that we target in cold water include sheepshead, black drum, ring tail porgies, bluefish, black sea bass, and yellowmouth and speckled trout. The sheepshead feed on crustaceans living on rocks, pilings, and other structure. Large drum frequent the deep tips of the jetties and the roll down inside the jetties. Smaller drum show up in holes in ICW creeks. Porgies like the shallow tips of the jetties on clear incoming tides. Bluefish can appear anytime, anywhere, though usually in clear water. Yellowmouth trout will be in 10-20 ft. depths with speckled trout above them in the water column.
The best fishing for black sea bass is offshore on calm days. On warmer, calmer days whiting should bite in the surf. Both these fish are excellent eating and aggressive feeders. Watch the weather and enjoy our NE Florida salt water fishing!
Capt. Bob Cosby