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Old 01-08-2019, 11:26 AM  
bballman
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Winter trout help

Hey 2coolers: I do not have a boat and I fish the surfside and Christmas Bay Area with no luck. I was thinking I need to get to deeper water so I was wondering if the area between the surfside jetties and the coast guard station would be a good place to wade. Deep water in the channel would trout come up to the shallower bank. Anyone with advice would be great. Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:31 AM  
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Originally Posted by bballman View Post
Hey 2coolers: I do not have a boat and I fish the surfside and Christmas Bay Area with no luck. I was thinking I need to get to deeper water so I was wondering if the area between the surfside jetties and the coast guard station would be a good place to wade. Deep water in the channel would trout come up to the shallower bank. Anyone with advice would be great. Thanks.
Don't feel too discouraged, I have a small vessel and have fished ALL over West bay reef and Christmas bay with little to no luck as well. I'm tuned into this question though because I'm trying to find deeper channels to fish.

Have you had or do you have access to any East bay wading entries? I hear the water in East bay has deeper parts than West bay but this could have been someone pushing me out and away from their location.

Where did you walk out at Christmas bay? I know the North East by Cold Pass has some deeper channels.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:45 AM  
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It's hardly wintery at 70 degrees the last few days....freshwater run off and big tidal swings affecting feeding patterns right now.

Firstly get troutsupport.com.

Last edited by sgrem; 01-08-2019 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:49 AM  
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Walk in at boat ramp down from the condos and at key largo.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:05 PM  
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I agree with SGREM... with as much fresh water that's coming down and has been coming down the rivers it's really got that area messed up. Water temps have been in the 50's a good bit and in the 60's the rest of the time on warming periods. I fished Matagorda on Monday and all our fish were belly deep to 5'. I'll try to get a report up tonight with some pics. We drifted shell in 5' and caught a limit and waded shell and mud belly deep. Wasn't easy day.. but ended up crushing it. We had to hunt for them tho.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:04 PM  
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Even under ideal conditions, winter fishing can be a grind. Numbers are not a thing I have ever thought of, or attained, when fishing in the months from December to March. All day with a few hits has not been uncommon for me.

I'd be very careful wading along the Freeport Channel. Definitely wear a PFD, but you can't really walk out that far that you might as well cast from the shoreline, but to parrot the above, I wouldn't waste my time there right now. I'd sooner fish the outside of those jetties. Not sure what your species of choice are, but the jetties hold several varieties nearly year 'round.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:40 AM  
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Winter fishing for trout is probably one of the easiest things to do. From December through February, key in on areas with deep water adjacent to shallow water. When a front hits and the water temperature drops below 50, the trout will head to deeper water. This makes for easy pickings with a soft plastic with a heavy jig head fished right on bottom. This is about as close as you can get to "Catching fish in a barrel.". Sometimes I just drop my lure right over the side of the boat and bounce it off the bottom while I'm drifting.
After a front when it starts warming up, the fish will leave the deeper holes and head to shallow flats with mud or shell bottoms to feed. The darker mud or shell bottoms will warm up quicker then a lighter colored sand bottom, and the fish are usually active. When fishing these "warm up days", you can use almost anything, from soft plastics, slow sinkers, or even topwaters.
Always fish the strongest tide movement you can find and try not to go the first few days after a front hits. Here's a article I wrote a while back explaining the effects of cold fronts on fishing.

As fall turns to winter, many inexperienced fishermen have trouble trying to figure out the effects cold fronts have on fishing. This is one of the most common questions I get asked this time of year, so I thought I would share my experience with this very topic.

When a cold front hits it changes several things. The thing I feel is most important is the barometric pressure, but along with the high pressure, fronts also bring a change in temperatures, wind speed and direction, and usually rain.
From the time a front hits, to 2 or 3 days after it passes, fishing slows down. Most people refer to this as "lock jaw". The high barometric pressure puts pressure on their swim bladders making them feel full and uncomfortable. The cooler temperatures will make the fish and the bait flee to deeper waters. The strong north winds can change the normal current flows, make the water dirty, and disorientate the fish and their prey. Rains can flush fish out of the back waters and shallow areas of the bay and force them to find water with higher salinity levels.
So, 3 to 4 days after a front passes, all the normal conditions usually return to normal, and the fish, who haven't ate for several days, will be in a feeding frenzy.

Now, I'm not saying that you can't catch fish the first few days of a front, because you certainly can. In fact, I've had some incredible days fishing in weather that no one should expose their self to, but these are the exception rather then the rule. I'm not a fair weather fishermen by any means, and I'll go fishing in conditions that would make most people run for cover, and it's because of a lifetime of fishing in every condition imaginable that I have the knowledge that I share with you now.
If you like fishing in the freezing rain with a 30mph north wind, in hopes that you might get lucky, then go for it. But if you like to plan your trips around times that will give you the highest chance for success, you may want to heed my advice.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:13 AM  
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tarpon lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkchum View Post
Winter fishing for trout is probably one of the easiest things to do. From December through February, key in on areas with deep water adjacent to shallow water. When a front hits and the water temperature drops below 50, the trout will head to deeper water. This makes for easy pickings with a soft plastic with a heavy jig head fished right on bottom. This is about as close as you can get to "Catching fish in a barrel.". Sometimes I just drop my lure right over the side of the boat and bounce it off the bottom while I'm drifting.
After a front when it starts warming up, the fish will leave the deeper holes and head to shallow flats with mud or shell bottoms to feed. The darker mud or shell bottoms will warm up quicker then a lighter colored sand bottom, and the fish are usually active. When fishing these "warm up days", you can use almost anything, from soft plastics, slow sinkers, or even topwaters.
Always fish the strongest tide movement you can find and try not to go the first few days after a front hits. Here's a article I wrote a while back explaining the effects of cold fronts on fishing.

As fall turns to winter, many inexperienced fishermen have trouble trying to figure out the effects cold fronts have on fishing. This is one of the most common questions I get asked this time of year, so I thought I would share my experience with this very topic.

When a cold front hits it changes several things. The thing I feel is most important is the barometric pressure, but along with the high pressure, fronts also bring a change in temperatures, wind speed and direction, and usually rain.
From the time a front hits, to 2 or 3 days after it passes, fishing slows down. Most people refer to this as "lock jaw". The high barometric pressure puts pressure on their swim bladders making them feel full and uncomfortable. The cooler temperatures will make the fish and the bait flee to deeper waters. The strong north winds can change the normal current flows, make the water dirty, and disorientate the fish and their prey. Rains can flush fish out of the back waters and shallow areas of the bay and force them to find water with higher salinity levels.
So, 3 to 4 days after a front passes, all the normal conditions usually return to normal, and the fish, who haven't ate for several days, will be in a feeding frenzy.

Now, I'm not saying that you can't catch fish the first few days of a front, because you certainly can. In fact, I've had some incredible days fishing in weather that no one should expose their self to, but these are the exception rather then the rule. I'm not a fair weather fishermen by any means, and I'll go fishing in conditions that would make most people run for cover, and it's because of a lifetime of fishing in every condition imaginable that I have the knowledge that I share with you now.
If you like fishing in the freezing rain with a 30mph north wind, in hopes that you might get lucky, then go for it. But if you like to plan your trips around times that will give you the highest chance for success, you may want to heed my advice.
will u please show me these fish in a barrel, i cant find them.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:36 AM  
sharkchum
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Quote:
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will u please show me these fish in a barrel, i cant find them.
Ha, you know where they are as well as I do. You also know that the all the fresh water has pushed them out for the time being and that it hasn't got cold enough to stack them up yet.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:38 PM  
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The part of Xmas bay I ran on Saturday had zero structure to hold bait or trout. No grass, no pot holes, no channels, guts etc.
There's a lot of bay I didnt see, but I am not surprised you arent seeing fish there.
Hell, I think in the 4 hours I was there I saw 3 mullet.
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