by Capt Craig Lambert
Wintertime fishing is all about weather and tidal movement. Once you understand what to look for you can plan better and key in on those days you want to be out there fishing. Beautiful Galveston Bay Speckled Trout
First let's talk weather because that is the most important factor for good feeding conditions. I have said it before and I will say it again. Bluebird skies and sunny calm days are for playing golf and cloudy nasty windy days are for catching fish. I know that is the opposite of what most anglers think and most of those anglers wont catch that many fish during winter. When I look at a forecast I am first looking for and hoping for a chance of rain and a high percentage of cloud cover. Some type of weather system means wind, clouds and lowering air pressures. And that is what I want. In my opinion a 12-17 knot wind (14-20 mph) is perfect but once it starts to sustain itself over 20 mph plus it does get tougher unless you have a well protected area with fish in it or you are wadefishing protected shorelines. Ask these guys in the picture below if you can catch fish in a 20-25 mph sustained wind. Highly protected cove with lots of hungry fish and humpin winds!
Keep in mind that our water temperatures are hovering in the high 50's at the time this article was written and this is incredibly warm for this time of year. This means more active fish and that means this month is going to be darn good and better than prior January's. Lethargic fish do not need to feed as much but warmer water temperatures and higher metabolisms have to be kept going so the advantages of this warmer water will be more fish actively feeding. The forecast is looking to be in the high 70's again next week so old man winter just doesn't seem to want to take hold this year. Watch your water temperatures also. The bigger fish will feed better on the cold snaps and water temperature drops so plan your trips accordingly. Great for the Grill!
Like always tidal movement is key but this month we will have lower than normal tides so fishing those shallow flats can be difficult. That is why I prefer the tide up as much as possible. The better fish are in the shallower areas (2.5 to 4 ft) so that higher water is needed if you are drifting over them. When the tides are too low to hit the back lakes or shallow flats then pulling out to the deeper areas with the fish is very necessary. They are definitely more spread out when they pull off the flats and it is harder to key in on the bigger specks. But the smaller specks seem to stay grouped up well and typically they are your best bet during ultra low tides.Perfect specimen of the Cynoscion Nebulosus
Remember to always take a kid fishing!!