Florida Winter Fishing Tips

How to Catch Sheepshead

Florida Winter Fishing
While Florida is known for its mild winters, the fishing is still a bit different here in the winter than it is during the warmer months. Here are 5 useful tips to help catch more when the water temperatures drop.

  1. Slow down your presentation
  2. Patients is key
  3. Find areas of warmer water
  4. Find deeper water
  5. Starting later in the day is often more productive

Slow Down Your Presentation

When fishing in cooler water it is important to move your lure or bait slower than you normally would.  The cooler water causes fish to have a much slower metabolism so the move slower and only attack prey that they know they can catch with minimal effort.  A slowly worked bait/lure will stay in their strike zone longer and lead to a more productive day on the water.

Patients is Key

Because of their slowed metabolism there are times when winter fish will just not strike.  This is when patients pays off.  Many times fish will ignore baits for a while, and then, out of nowhere start to feed.  When fishing an area known to hold fish, if nothing is happening, move on but come back a few times.  Small changes in barometric pressure or water temperature can be all that is needed to get a fish to become active.

Find Warmer Water

Pockets of warmer water will almost always hold more fish than the surrounding cooler waters.  Look for areas that have a dark colored bottom.  The dark sand/mud/weeds absorb the sun and radiate heat back to the water.  A temperature change of even a few degrees makes a big difference.  Also, look for area where creeks or rivers feed a larger body of water.  Often times these creeks/rivers are warmer than the larger body of water and fish will congregate in the outflow.

Find Deeper Water

Deeper water is much more resistant to temperature swings.  Look for deep holes or channels.  These areas will hold many fish near the bottom looking to excape the cooler shallows.  In the deep water make sure your presentation is slow and touching or close to the bottom for the best chance of success.

Start Later in the Day

During the warmer months here in Florida it is always best to get a start fishing as early as possible.  As the water cools, that is no longer needed.  Fish will become more active as the sun warms the water.  Starting mid-day is often the best bet for an active fishing trip.