Florida has finally decided to participate in winter, with the rest of the country. It took a bit longer than normal, but our temperatures have finally started cooling off. In fact, as I am writing this, we are awaiting our first major cold front that is due to arrive tonight and push low temperatures into the 30's and highs into the 60's. The drastic change isn't going to last long, as we will rebound to 50's and 70's by the end of the week. Still, it will continue to help clear our waters and make fish shift into their winter patterns.
The best part is that sight fishing which has improved dramatically since the beginning of November, will only get better. Clearer water means better opportunities to actually see fish from further distances and make hunting them down even more successful. Of course, with clearer water does come some increased challenges with fish being able to see us better and they can become a little spookier. Overcoming these obstacles just means a little different tackle set up.
My conventional gear anglers will be shifting to more natural colored jigs and plugs. Lighter hooks and jig heads will also be utilized and weedless designs become imperative for some areas. Thankfully, I am fully prepared with various Z-Man Fishing Products, just for these conditions. There new finesse rigs are great; especially when you combine them with light braid and super long leaders. They enter the water without spooking fish and when a fish sees them, they can't resist the offer. Since some fish also like to hang along the drop offs, until temperatures rise, their EZ Shrimpz have been hot. They are easy to rig, look realistic in the water, and very few redfish turn their nose up at a shrimp offering.
Fly anglers will also be switching over to more natural colors. In addition, the 8 and 9 weight rods will be placed to the side, unless the winds are really kicking. Instead, this is time for 5-7 weight rods. These lighter rods make a more delicate presentation and spook fewer fish. These rods become extra deadly when you combine them with 12 to 15 foot leaders and use lighter tippets (10-12 pound tippet will be the max for a lot of situations). For me, the Micro-Gamechanger Shrimp has
been the go to fly for most of my recent trips. This fly moves like the real thing, casts easily, and depending on how it is weighted, can drop next to a fish without making a sound. We have witnessed some incredible eats from seatrout and redfish on this fly. One additional tip for fly anglers: get proficient at casting accurately and quickly with a side arm cast. A side arm approach keeps the line shadow and rod movement from spooking a lot of fish. It isn't hard to master, but it can take a little practice if you are not use to casting this way; especially with weighted or bulky flies.
No matter which style of fishing you want to try, I've got you covered. The fishing is only going to improve, so do yourself a favor and take a little time out of your busy schedule to relax and spend a day on the water.
Call me (386) 314-5998 to book your trip now! Email me with any questions and I will get back to you. I promise you'll have an incredible time and see some amazing sights.
As always, we are happy to offer gift certificates for any of our trips and also custom fly packages for those fly fishing enthusiasts on your Christmas list.