Winter Time Fishing Tactics in Florida's Nature Coast

2007-01-18 15:39:36
Hernando County, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Flats & Backwater Rivers of West Central Florida in Hernando & Citrus County

The West Central Florida fishing report is brought to you by Angling Adventures charter Fishing Guide Service. Fly fishing and light tackle fishing in the beautiful waters of Florida’s nature coast.

Hello, I’m Captain Steven Soults and this is the local backcountry fishing report for Florida’s Nature Coast.


January is here, but it sure doesn’t feel like January out there. I remember last year at this time I was canceling more trips than I was running due to cold front after cold front blowing me off the water. Its finally 2007 and the new year is here and boy it is starting out GREAT! The weather has been outstanding in the last week or two to say the least, contrary to normal January weather and fishing has been getting better everyday. We have had the majority of our success fishing the shallow creeks and backwaters of Hernando Beach and Bayport in the later part of the day when the sun has had a chance to heat up the water a bit. A quarter-ounce ¼ oz jig head with a five-inch (darker colors if the water is muddy or cloudy & brighter colors if the water is clear) soft plastic imitation worked with the slowest presentation possible has been producing the most strikes (REMEMBER SLOW DOWN YOUR PRESENTATION), but a soft plastic rigged weed-less has been working just as well for Trout, Redfish and Giant Jack Crevalle if you are fishing where the structure (such as sea fans or shallow water oyster bars or deep grass) will not let you fish the traditional style jig head. Since the backwaters can be very clear when it is cold this time of year, a quiet approach and a long cast is a must this time of year and over all can increase your chances of hooking a fish before it ever has a chance to see you. This becomes really important especially since the number of boats on the water has definitely increased since last year, which is why I highly recommend using the new braided lines out on the market nowadays. The advantage of using the new braided lines are that you can significantly increase your casting distance with the use of a smaller diameter braided line with a higher tensile strength and a full spool. I like to use 20lb Power Pro braid with a 20 to 30lb Fluorocarbon leader depending on the structure you are fishing in. If you are having difficulty finding fish, lures that cover ground very quickly (top-waters, GOLD-spoons, and jigs) are especially effective this time of year, and with a little bit of scouting you should be able to reveal some fish holding areas without to much difficulty. If Redfish are your primary target, then you need to find the warmest water possible. The warmest water is usually the shallowest, so you need to get as far back in the backwaters as you can until you run out of water, then go further. The key is, go until you start seeing schools of mullet jumping and swimming past the boat. When you start seeing them your getting to the right area. A live shrimp or a live pinfish free lined into the school should not go unnoticed, but use caution when approaching not to spook the school with banging and such. I have also has a great deal of success catching Spotted Sea Trout free lining a live shrimp tail hooked with a small split shot sinker about 8 inches up the leader to help keep the bait down when drift fishing a nice shallow grassy flat in the chasslowiska area. I wanted to mention a little about cold fronts before I go. Remember, fishing BEFORE cold fronts play an important part in fishing this time of year. Fishing the cold fronts arrive can result in some of the best fishing action you can encounter during the months of January and February, because the fish know it may be the last chance to eat before the front gets here and the waters get mudded up. Remember, cold days can mean great fishing around warm water discharges from power plant outflows. These warm water discharges can extend a good quarter mile or more out into the cooler gulf waters, so it is not so important to fight the crowds right up in tight with the barrels. The warmer water temperatures attract a number of species of fish. Giant Jack Crevalle, Spotted Sea Trout, Ladyfish, Redfish and Cobia are all common catches this time of year around power plant outflows.

If you have any questions or would like to book a trip to experience BACKWATER FISHING AT ITS BEST please call Angling Adventures Guide Service with Captain Steven Soults at (352) 686-0853 or you can try the cell at (352) 238-9339

Till next month!!! Fish on and tight lines!!!

Fish Species: Spotted Sea Trout / Redfish / Jack Crevalle
Bait Used: Soft Plastic Artificals & Live Shrimp
Tackle Used: Gloomis 7' Fast Action Rod w/a Shimano 2500 Stradic Reel spooled with 20lb Power
Method Used: Free Lining Live Shrimp and Jigging w/ soft plastic baits from Bass Assassin and DOA Cal Lures
Water Depth: 1-4 Feet
Water Temperature: 59-60 Degrees
Wind Direction: Mostly out of the North/North East
Wind Speed: always to much in January & February
Nice Spotted Sea Trout caught aboard Angling Adventures Charter Fishing Guide Service W/Capt. Steven
Nice Spotted Sea Trout caught aboard Angling Adventures Charter Fishing Guide Service W/Capt. Steven

Nice bluefish caught aboard Angling Adventures Charter Fishing Guide Service W/Capt. Steven
Nice bluefish caught aboard Angling Adventures Charter Fishing Guide Service W/Capt. Steven

About The Author: Captain Steven Soults

Company: Angling Adventures Charter Fishing Serv.

Area Reporting: Inshore Flats & Backwaters of the West Coast of Florida Pasco, Hernando & Citrus County

Bio: We are a FULL TIME United States Coast Guard Licensed & Insured Professional Charter Fishing Guide Service fishing the beautiful crystal clear grass flats & Backwaters of Pasco, Hernando & Citrus County in our new 24 SUPER SPORT Center Console PROLINE & our 19’PROLINE BACKWATER BAY BOAT!!! Conveniently located only 45 miles north of Tampa in West Central Florida (Nature Coast), this area is famous for its backcountry fishing, flats fishing & saltwater light tackle & fly-fishing for Giant Tailing Redfish, Rolling Tarpon, Trophy Size Speckled Trout, Shallow Water Grouper, Snook, Cobia, Sharks & much more!!!

352 686-0853
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Steven Soults