Our outboards endure cold and rough cranking starts, following with the smoke filled air. It’s apparent that winter is here and old man winter has definitely brought his wrath upon South FL with record breaking near freezing temperatures. I sit at the ramp bundled up in layers upon layers of clothes in the AM sometimes wondering whether we are still in south Florida. Anyone who’s been following my bitching and moaning about the cold on Facebook is probably already sick of hearing about it. But for one last time… STOP WITH THIS COLD ALREADY… it’s been an entire month of SUCK!
It has been quite the chilly start to 2010. Lucky for us, the cool weather came progressively this year rather then just over night. I believe that most of the inshore fish had enough time to anticipate the cold, therefore taking whatever measures to acclimate to the cooling water temperatures. I was happy to see that the only cold aquatic death on the water I’ve come accross this year have only been a couple of sharks and a pelican, along with some dying grunts and snappers at the local ramp in the Keys.
With the cold weather, came a change in the type of fishing done to accomodate the conditions. Sight fishing has been far and few closer to Flamingo, with more opportunities further up north deep in the southern portions of the 10,000 Islands. Most of the fishing closer to home has been geared around soaking shrimp on jigheads in deeper water and in the many creek mouths that dot the SW coast. It’s been cold, but nevertheless, winter fishing has been as good as can be. Between all the steady creek fishing this time of year, I live for those moments when conditions allow me to break out the fly rod, make our way through small hidden creeks, plow through thick canopies, get to those hard to reach hidden waters and jump on a mud flat deep in the heart of the ENP backcountry to present flies to cruising reds and laid up snook. It’s good to know though, that if conditions don’t allow for this, I can always buy a couple dozen shrimp and take my anglers to one of the many creeks to catch redfish, black drum, snook, and sheepshead.
Until next time… is it Spring yet?
“The Cotee Cracker Shrimp is the world’s most advanced artificial shrimp. It has a life-like shape with a great tail action and lots of natural looking legs. Special foil is embedded in the tail that creates a brilliant flash and crackling sound just like a real shrimp. It’s shrimp scented too. Flash, sound and scent, the Cotee Cracker Shrimp is better than live bait.”
Conditions: Outgoing tide, N-NE winds, 10-15, then 15-25. Air Temp mid 80’s, Water Temp mid 70’s
Equipment: Quantum Boca 7’6” BCIS 76IM medium action rod.
Quantum Catalyst PT20 Inshore Reel, 10 lb Power Pro, 25 lb Seagar Florocarbon leader
Lure: Mission Fishin 1/16 oz Chartreuse Weedless Jig Head on a Root Beer color Cracker Shrimp.
If you’re a big fan of using glass rattles in your lures, then you should really love this new lure from Cotee. The Cotee Cracker Shrimp is a unique shrimp imitation lure that has a piece of foil embedded in the tail that emits a snapping or “Cracklin” sound when twitched. I’m a big fan of using shrimp lures when working potholes, sand holes and grass line edges, so I was excited to try them out. This lure is a winner. Rigging this lure is simple, just use your favorite jig head, or you can rig it weedless without ruining the foil. I think this method might work very well for casting under docks. Casting it out into those holes, I just let it fall and gave it a hard twitch off the bottom. I found it easy to cast downwind, into the wind you will lose just a little distance due to all the little legs creating drag. It held up very well after a couple of very hungry redfish tried to eat it for lunch.
The Cotee Cracker Shrimp comes four to a pack, with ten different colors to choose from. Located in Port Richey, Florida check out this local tackle company for all their great products.