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Features : Fishing Report Last Updated: Jan 9, 2013 - 9:42:26 AM


Colder weather brings hazards, and fewer fish per trip
By Greg Peralta
Jan 9, 2013 - 9:40:27 AM

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January is here and the fish have settled into their normal winter pattern.  With water temperatures consistently in the lower fifty degree range, Redfish and Trout are moving more slowly and eating less.  Given these circumstances, the average number of fish per trip has declined. Prior to settling into the winter pattern, it was not unusual to release 20 fish in two to three hours of fishing. However, in winter, releasing five to ten fish is a pretty good day. Of course, a good spell of warm weather will positively impact these numbers.
On Saturday, I had a good reminder that winter fishing can be dangerous.  Low tide was very early in the morning. As I prepared my skiff to launch, it was covered with a layer of heavy frost and the deck was extremely slick. From experience, I knew the frost would melt very quickly once the sun cleared the tree line. So I launched the skiff and planned to let it defrost while tied to the dock. Unfortunately, I failed to notice that the dock was also covered with a heavy layer of frost.  When I stepped from the skiff onto the floating dock I slipped and did a one and half backward somersault (with a twist) into the 51 degree water. As an Olympic diver, my fall would have scored at least a nine. As an angler, my fall was a ten on the stupidity scale.  I failed to fully observe the situation. I was alone. I was not wearing a life jacket. I was lucky.
However, I did have dry clothing and an extra jacket in my skiff (which is a good idea when fishing in the winter). After a quick change, I went fishing with a renewed respect for winter conditions.  Redfish were abundant on the flats but they were not feeding.  Over the course of the morning, I did manage to release a couple of big ones using a Z-Man black and gold flake StreakZ curly tail on a quarter ounce jig.    In winter, fishing is more challenging and without good safety practices, it can be more dangerous as well.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at captaingreg@shallowwatercharters.com or (843) 224-0099.
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