Fernandina Beach to Flagler Beach
Includes Jacksonville and St. Augustine
January 2018 will be remembered as when the ocean shut down due to angry winter storms. Water temps have dropped into the 40’s in our local waters and nearby offshore fish with out a doubt have been driven out to deeper waters. This time of year most offshore fishing is centered on one species “Wahoo” when the ocean allows for the long trip to the gulf stream , anglers will take advantage. As it looks now no windows opening for clear weather this weekend. Keep your eyes on sea surface water temps maps for future planning.
Never fear inshore will quench a hunger to set a hook. Trout and redfish will have survived the cold but not so lucky was are growing snook population that took a hit. Water depth is the key in small protected creeks or marina areas for trout and redfish as they will be in tight schools in these warmest of waters available. Live shrimp or mud minnows on jig heads flipped around shell beds or hard bottom areas in at least 7 to 10 ft of water will be key. Slow sinking jigs or hard baits for lure anglers , for example using a 1/8 ounce jig when possible instead of a 1/4 ounce jig for a slower fall. Slow down your retrieves as fish will be sluggish and need a supple approach for them to bite. Sheep head will also take some patience as the cold water will have them not as aggressive as they have been. Try deeper water around bridge pilings as that has been a consistent tactic for this time of year. Dress warm and have a great weekend