Fishing for January has been pretty strong all things considered. We have been fortunate not to have had the cold the rest of the country have been experiencing. lets all hope that we are not in for it in February. I hope we will have an early spring and all the fish will survive this year and 2011 will be an awesome fishing year.
January fishing has been pretty typical so far, lots of little snook on fly in the back country along with a few larger fish. The last week with the warmer conditions the small Tarpon started to make an appearance. Redfish are eating flies sometime but seem to prefer a live shrimp or tipped jig. The flies that have been working the best for reds and Sheepshead have been small crab patterns and bonefish flies like Fiddler in the Grass and Brown gotchas tied on number 4's. Lots of Lady fish have been the norm both on fly and on Jigs. Along with the ladies are trout some keepers but many are undersized, Sheepshead and Whiting. All of which are taking flies if you can get to them. Sink tip lines and clouser type patterns are your best shot if not using tipped Jigs. Bass fishing in the glades and in the Golden Gate system has been good not great. Small worms and small baitfish fly patterns with weedguards have been working on them.
February looks like it is going to be a good one so far. Long range forecast shows it to be a cool one but light on freezes. Lets all hope this is true. Say a prayer. It would be nice going into spring without any fish kills especially for the peacock bass. If the weather stays the same we should have continued success for Trout and Whitting in the drop offs adjacent to the flats. Good Sheepshead fishing should actually get better and the Redfish will be happy and getting bigger maybe big enough to keep. Snook fishing will stay spotty but the night fishing around the new and full moon should be outstanding. Tarpon will start to show if the water warms into the 70's. Maybe toward the end of the month the big ones will come out to play in the Bays near the Gulf. They will feed on fly and if you do not throw a fly a lucky 13 or something like it will work on them. Bass fishing should make a break for it in the glades and really turn on. I would expect to start seeing hundred fish days on the Alley waters. The Peacocks might even turn on if the weather warms, they will be ravenous but the water needs to be in the upper 70's. I will be giving a talk about cold weather fly fishing at the BFF meeting this month at the Norris Center, believe second Monday of the Month. I will be talking fly selection and techniques to fish for coldwater fish in the channels and along the flats. Hope to see you there and give support to the BFF.