Posts Tagged With: Jacksonville

Damn it’s HOTTTTTT!

Man it’s that time of year. You need to be on the water before sunup, at sundown or at night to enjoy yourself fishing. With heat indexes everyday for the last week in the triple digits, you are a real gluten for punishment if you do any midday fishing. Plus the fishing is always slower during the heat of the day.

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If you must go midday find areas of shade and cooler waters. It seems crazy but all you need is a few degrees temperature change and it creates a world of difference. I like to fish under deep water dock ends, skipping deep into the shade, or even a good tree lined creek can make the difference. It doesn’t change the fact though that it is hot as can be. When you are sweating profusely and you have only just taken the boat off the trailer it’s going to be a long hot day.

I really like to fish the early evenings after our afternoon Florida thunderstorm has rolled through. All is right with the world for both angler and fish at this time. If there is a such thing as a happy place in the middle of August in Florida it is at this time. Sometimes it gets hot and just nasty on shore after a rain but that is due to the asphalt jungle we all live in anymore, steaming up our world like the hot rocks of a sauna. On the water though the temp drops a few welcomed degrees, for both angler and fish alike. It is also that quintessentially overplayed, so here it goes again, “calm after the storm.” Nothing quite like a big trout or maybe a tarpon blowing up on a top water or inhaling a fly in the after storm grey sky background. It really wakes you up to see a hole open up from the sometimes vicious eat of a tarpon on the waters slick after rain surface.

The night time bite has probably produced, pound for pound, the most memorable bites of my life. Four of my top ten experiences on the water have come at night. Couple the chance for an insane bite with your bodies heightened sensory perception, due to your lack of good vision, and you will find yourself falling in love with night fishing. I highly recommend that every fisher person spend some time foregoing a little sleep and getting on the water. It is way better than all those lost nights of being in a drunken stupor till the wee hours of the next morning i had as young whipper snapper, and a heck of a lot painful of a hangover.

Morning on the other hand, compared to the long hours of cool night fishing,is typically a quick trip. Here in the good ole sunshine state it will be mid nineties by mid morning and the fish tend to shut down. It can though be a great time to fish, especially if you have the right spots. My knees tremble just thinking of that little pod of tarpon rolling in the light of the suns first rays as you wait for them to get close enough to drop a fly in their path. With a little luck, maybe just maybe the fish gods will smile on you with a hook up. After that though you better be praying to a higher power if you actually plan on touching said tarpon and getting that extreme ego boosting tarpon photo op.

Just because its a scorcher don’t park your ass in the ac. Get out and do something…. A little hint too….if you actually get out in it every now and again you can get used to it.

Capt Sean Abbey
Native Angler Guide Service
Overboard Fishing Rods, LLC

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Mountain Goats

At Native Angler we love to do guided trips at our home away from home, the Greater Smoky Mountain National Park or the GSMNP for the rest of this article. The GSMNP is one of the most incredible places in the world. We all owe a great deal of gratitude to the sacrifice that was made by its one time residents and the founders and creators of the park for bequeathing it to us for our enjoyment.

I found myself mesmerized by its beauty many moons ago and have read almost everything ever written on the park, totally immersing myself in its history. When you hike it’s trails most people miss all the history you are walking by while staring at the beauty of the forest and streams. I love to explain to everyone what they are looking at when you look past the obvious. It is truly amazing to realize that people actually farmed this land at one point and raised their families here. These truly had to be some of the toughest people around. If you ever have the privilege of visiting the park do yourself a favor and read a trail guide and blogs about an area you want to visit before going. You will be amazed at what a little insight will point out to you as you hike a trail, tombstones, stone walls, maybe even an old chimney from a home long since gone hidden in the woods.

While we love the history, that’s just talk to make your hike seem less lengthy and strenuous. When it comes to the park you can make a trip with us as extreme or pampered as you would like. You can camp and fish in areas that trails have long since disappeared or stay in a cottage having steaks cooked for you every night and fish all day. It’s all in how adventurous you want to be. Regardless of which you choose we know the park and will work very hard to make sure you have a good time.

On our most recent trip we had the pleasure of having Andrew, Patrick, and Robert (all brothers) as well as their good friend Matt. I was met by my fellow guide, and brother in law, Max, from Knoxville, at the trailhead to our campsite Thursday afternoon. Max and I then hiked up a goodly, old mountain term, portion of our equipment for the trip and set up camp for the evening. After setting up camp we decided to do a little leisurely fishing to get a feel for the mood of the fish. The stream seemed to be pretty healthy and had a great flow for mid summer in the park. We caught a few decent rainbows and kept one to go with the steaks I had brought with me for that night. If you freeze them they will stay good and thaw that first day of the trip till your ready to eat that night. Nothing better than a little mountain surf and turf. After a few hours of camp fire chat between brother in laws that have known each other for damn near 20 years it was time to call it a day so we could get up early the next the next morning and hike down to bring the fellas up to camp.

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The next morning we emptied our packs the rest of the way and hiked down to meet the guys at 9am. I must say downhill sans 65 pounds in your pack is much easier on the body. After reaching the trailhead we poked around for a few until the brothers Weaver and Matt arrived. I could see in there eyes they were all excited, all a little tired, and that the passengers who were experiencing the dragons tail for the first time were a little car sick. You are lucky to hit 20 on the tail as it winds for mile after curvy mile. We talked for a few about the hike into camp, only 2.4 miles but straight up with no level spots and not easy going by any means, and I loaded Max and my packs with the food for the next few days.

Fortunately there is a nice little detour spot on the way up to camp for those cool group photos and just the spot to shoot the obligatory for the wives and family photo shot. Other than that its just a walk uphill loaded down wondering how anyone ever lived out here. Then you realize why, you just look and listen. You hear the sounds and sights of pure nature; streams, cascades, frogs, birds, grasshoppers and even the wind blowing. The only sound you will hear that doesn’t belong is the sound of the feet and voices of your party. It is in one word, incredible!

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Reaching our campsite after a solid hour of uphill climb, everyone jubilantly dropped their packs to the ground. We scouted out the tent sites for the guys and set up the rest of camp. After getting everything ready for the weekends stay it was time for a little debriefing, if you will, about water filtration, camp etiquette ( bathroom etiquette ), and a little refresher on what to do on the stream; we hold a intro to fly class with the group before we go but nothing is better than on stream instruction. Now it was time to fish. Generally it is better to strike out in different directions broken down into two man groups with a guide for each group for better fishing success, but this was a group of old friends and brothers, they wanted to experience it all together. Besides you can’t rib your brother or lifelong friend when your miles apart on a mountain stream, so off we went.

That first day we actually had a some success. Not a lot of fish were caught, but the GSMNP truly is an area where the old saying “if you can catch fish here you can catch them anywhere,” actually is the gods honest truth. I’ve always said you hear of plenty of people from this area heading out west to Montana or the like to chase trout, but you never hear of someone out west heading to the park to fish. A fish caught here on a little 3 or 4 weight fly rod, whilst jumping around from boulder to boulder, fishing small pockets of water that you can barely dabble a fly in due to the thick rhododendron canopy is quite the accomplishment for beginners to fly fishing. It is an even more impressive feet when your brother decides to tromp through the spot you ever so sneakily crawled into just to be a wise guy.

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Fishing these small streams is also quite taxing. It is honestly the most fun you can have while physically exhausting yourself. So after four or five hours of fishing it was time to head back to camp and get some dinner. For meals on our trips I like to prepare good food that is high in carbs, no Atkins going on in these hills, and flavor. I will gladly weigh my self down with unimaginable hiking weight, I am a mountain goat, in order to not feed my guests and friends disgusting high sodium backpacker meals. So we had homemade chili mac for dinner that night, followed by a little ribbing around a camp fire and bed.

Even in August it gets cool enough in the mountains to slide in your sleeping bag at night, so to warm our chilled bones I prepared hot pancakes for breakfast Saturday morning to get our bodies fueled for the days fishing. I am glad we did fuel up cause the fellas really charged it this day. We worked into some impossible pockets and slid down the side of mountains to reach perfect little pools at the base of a small fall or cascade and it paid off with everybody getting into fish but Robert. I typically wouldn’t call out the name of anyone who didn’t bring a fish to hand but I can honestly say Robert was the best fisherman of the group, yeah I said it, deal with it you guys. Robert put in tons of effort and made great casts and presentations with a great positive attitude but it just didn’t happen. Damn you trout! I really think he took it with the best attitude though and truly understood that it really isn’t about the catching up here. Catching is a bonus, getting out of you comfort zone and truly immersing yourself in the experience is the part you’ll never forget.

After a successful days fishing we went back to camp and munched on a late lunch and packed up for the hike down. In true Florida boy style I put on my flops, hoisted on my every bit of an 80 + pound pack,
and started the glorious down hill march to the cars. I truly enjoyed myself on this trip, as the company was perfect. You really can’t ask for a better group of guys to share in this experience in one of Gods true wonders, the GSMNP. Thank you!

Our new website is just about done but if you would like to book a trip similar to this or one to many areas in the state of Florida give us a shout at…..nativeangler3@gmail.com

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Fishing is Hot! Weather is Not!

Weather permitting, the fishing has been fantastic here in Northeast Florida. “Weather Permitting” being the key words. For the last month the weather has been downright miserable; rain, excessive winds, cold, or a combination of all three. If you get a window to fish it is never much more than 36 hours and sometimes far less.

When the fishing is doable though it has been fantastic. I have been on as consistant a trout bite as you can get anywhere. They haven’t been big but they are consistantly 16 – 19 inches with a few bigger and a few smaller thrown in. These trout are all extremely healthy too, with most being fatter than their brethen from other areas.

The redfish bite is nothing short of stellar with multiple trips recently catching 8 to 10 redfish all in the upper slot range and some over. The reds though know about as much of what is going on with the weather as the local weathermen so they don’t react well sometimes to the consistent changes.

There are your typical late winter early spring runs of fish happening all over also. With Blackdrum, big ones to 90 pounds, cruising our area waters ready to be had, especially around full and new moons. You need a stout Overboard rod and the patience to jig a quartered crab slowly with the current in your yak and they will come. Also around are sheepshead, and all the 1-3 pound bluefish anyone could ever want to catch.

We have also had an incredible triple tail bite this year. For those of you that don’t know, triple tail are top 5 eating fish in the sea if not the best. they will be followed very shortly by the Cobia, thick center cut porkchops of the sea, moving in closer to the shore for our residents coupled with the migration north from the transients.

With tarpon not far behind and redfish getting more and more agressive with each rising degree of water temp. The weather may be sucking but the fishing is hot and only gonna get better in the next two months.To book a trip give us a shoot at nativeangler3@gmail.com or phone at 904-556-0049, and go check out our facebook pages and webpages at

Capt Sean Abbey
Native Angler Guide Service
Overboard Fishing Rods, LLC

Max Piet of Knoxville, TN with a nice trout in some fairly rough waters.

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What to do when the wind has been honking for days and its either pouring rain or frigid?

Need your fishing fix and you just can’t justify going out in miserable weather, there is plenty to do that will curb that itch and make you better for it when the weather clears.

Turn on some of those dvr’d fishing shows and try some of these:

Tackle maintenance: There is nothing you can do to have you more prepared to fish than readying your gear. Clean your reels and lube them, from deep cleaning to just a good surface hit, take care of your reels. Also a great time to get your tackle box back in order and organized, maybe even change out some treble hooks, or at the very least, give them a good once over with a sharpening file.

Tie some flies: Tying flies in miserable weather while watching the Spanish Fly or Flip Pallot or pretty much any fishing show is a right of passage for a fly fishermen. So stock up on those flies for the next trip and maybe tinker with a new one.

Catch up on your Journal: As I have gotten older I wished I would have kept better records of my fishing adventures. A fishermen’s journal is an incredible tool, especially to those of us that may not have the sharpest minds anymore 🙂

These are just some of the many things you can do and all will help you to be a more prepared fisher person. As Captain and working guide it is a must that I am prepared at all times. Nothing can ruin a trip more than a guide who is not prepared and readied for what the day may have in store.

Capt Sean Abbey
Overboard Fishing Rods, LLC.
Native Angler Guide Service

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Bottom Fishing with B. Fine

Bottom fishing for reef fish. Reef fish are going to be present around
structure. There are two types of structure close enough to shore for
kayakers to get to; natural anomalies, and man-made structure. The
coordinates to these structures can be considered public and private.
If you surf enough on line you can get a bunch of coordinates to bottom
structure, but then again so can anyone else, the private numbers are
fished much less but also lead to some etiquette infractions. If
someone gives you coordinates to structure they found it’s not a good
idea to share them without the original person knowing. Paddling up to
someone bottom fishing and marking the spot on your GPS is also a huge
foul. So first step to reef fishing is finding some bottom spots to
try. Either from friends, online, or the old fashioned crisscross the
gulf until you see an anomaly on your depth finder.

Once you find a good spot you have to drop the bait down. I prefer a
conventional reel with a good heavy duty bottom rod. The smallest line
I typically use while bottom fishing is 50lb test. I usually run braid
down through a 8oz doughnut weight and to a 100lb+ barrel swivel, and
from the swivel I tie on a 4′ fluorocarbon leader and finally a 5/0
offset circle hook. The 8oz helps get the bait to the bottom fast,
which can be challenging on windy days or when the current is moving
faster. The primary baits used are cigar minnows or scaled sardines
either alive or frozen doesn’t really make a huge difference. Some
people hook the bait through the eye sockets or the tails, it’s all a
personal preference.

There is usually nothing subtle about a reef fish hitting your bait, so
make sure you’re holding on. The circle hook will set itself, the thing
you want to remember is you need to win the early fight so have your
drag set a little to the heavier side, (Not enough they make your kayak
lean!!) if you win the early fight you can keep the fish out of
structure, if you lose the early fight you’re going to lose terminal
tackle. The only reef fish I’ve found that doesn’t immediately bend
your rod over is triggerfish. If you are feeling bites, but not hooking
any fish and you’re bringing up very small pieces of what’s left of your
bait, chances are you’ve found triggerfish. Since they’re good eating
I’d suggest going down to a 2/0 hook with some frozen squid and you can
have a pretty tasty dinner collected pretty fast.

When you’re bottom fishing it’s not uncommon to end up losing your
terminal tackle to a mackerel that slices through your line or even end
up tangling with one of the numerous shark species, but if you play your
cards right you could very easily end up with red or lane snapper,
grouper, or even cobia.

Enjoy.
Barrett Fine

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Weather has us all confused!

This week has been no exception. Froze our cajones off at the Boondoggle and come home to a freeze, now today two days later I was sweating. The weather events of the last few years have us all wondering what is going on, the fish included.
This entire winter the fish in my hometown of Jacksonville, Fl have never completely gone into a winter pattern. Typically this is the only time of year that we get larger schools of cruising fish, roaming the flats in numbers over the dark mud bottoms staying warm. This pattern has been all but non existent except for the rare occasion and as soon as it starts it seems to be over.
This used to be my favorite time of year, next to the flooded grass spring tides, to fly fish for reds. High sun, low tides and small meal offerings are generally exactly what the reds are looking for. Much to my dismay I haven’t even found a school worthy of stalking with the buggy whip this winter.
Until recently I also used to follow the rule of small meal offerings for redfish religiously this time of year. I preferred small lures and flies over everything else in my tackle box. My favorites to give you an example of the size were the Yozuri flat crank to be worked slowly over just covered oyster bars, or an even smaller offering for those lowwwwww water cruising reds, with their backs half out of the water, of a Tiny Torpedo. You can sling this little morsel a long way on a 7’6″ med light with 6 to 10 pound braid and it lands lighter than a mayfly falling to its death on a trout stream. Place it in front of a cruising fish and give it a slight twitch engaging the prop ever so slightly and “its on like Donkey Kong.” Thank you Si Robertson for bringing that one back.

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Its amazing what competition will due to even the snobbiest of lure snobs. Thanks to Kayak Wars I have started to throw cut bait at some of my old honey holes, a technique usually saved for novice clients and children. Then the extremely unusual happened which threw my marine biologist friends theory into a crumbled up piece of paper, that rimmed off the trash can onto the floor. You see he was convinced, and myself too, that a reds metabolism slowed so much in winter that they only needed to eat once every week or so because it took some time for them to need the energy from the food source. Then I caught this guy the other day on a large chunk of cut mullet, who proceeded to puke up a 8 inch mullet which was freshly consumed within the previous few hours. So not only did he eat a large meal, but he was eating again, throwing to waste 20 years of fishing knowledge on winter redfishing.

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Leaving me to wonder if any of us truly know what we are doing, fish included!

Capt Sean Abbey
Overboard Fishing Rods, LLC

Native Angler Guide Service.

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Fishing from a SUP

We have all seen the sport of Kayak fishing explode in the last few years. It’s economical, eco-friendly and provides easy access to places where boats would be high and dry. “Yakers” are now a mainstream group of hard core anglers. Because of that, there is a new paddle craft emerging and offering new opportunities. They call it the paddle board. Many of us have seen these over-sized surfboards playing in the waves, or cruising just past the breakers, but fishing from one is a new idea to a lot of us. While the proper term for the boards is “Stand Up Paddleboard” or SUP, many boards are being modified so they can be sat on. Not having a place to sit can make fishing next to impossible. Several manufactures are producing models designed to attach kayak seats, but most are simply adding a cooler to them. A cooler with a rod holder becomes a tackle box, storage container and seat combined.
​Kayaks, while easy to drop and transport, still don’t offer the simplicity of the paddle board. Lightweight and easy to carry, you can launch it just about anywhere. Those fantasies we all have about that road side spot you drive past and have always wanted to fish, or that day at the beach with the family when that pogy pod swims in and gets mauled by aggressive predator fish, those fantasies can now become reality. While not suited for open or rough water fishing, the real beauty of the paddle board is it versatility in shallow water. With its stability and shallow draft, it gives anglers options that would be unavailable in a boat or kayak. During low tide in muddy creeks, it makes sight fishing those cruising reds easy, while at the same time giving you the option to carry live bait and anchor on an oyster bar as the tide rises.
​When it comes to fishing the flooded grass flats in Northeast Florida, it becomes the ultimate stalking vessel. With the ability to float and pole through grass, over shallow spots and only a step down to wade, it is fast becoming a favorite of tail chasers. With a limited amount of time to fish the water covered flats, ground can be covered quickly, extremely quietly and from a higher elevation than wading alone. Using a flats boat to scout an area and then launching a paddle board to move into that area is extremely effective. As with all fishing, everyone has their own style. When it comes to moving in for the cast, there are different ways to go about it. I prefer to pole until I spot a fish, then step off and wade in close if I can. Others like to stay on the board, finding casting from the board easy, even with a fly rod. You should practice and become familiar with being able to cast off the board. Often times, it’s your only option. Fishing flooded grass is by far the best way to cover the most ground and maximize your fish catching time. You can cover literally acres more water than wading and thus allow yourself many more opportunities to find the fish on the flats. There is nothing more satisfying than a properly placed presentation given to a head down, tail up redfish and the aggression in which he attacks that presentation.
​When it comes to tackle selection, keep it simple. A smaller assortment cuts down on weight and the amount of time you spend digging for that perfect bait. When it comes to rods, take the bare minimum and be prepared if they end up over the side. Overboard Rods, and they’re ability to float when they go in the drink, are a must. Nothing ruins a trip more than a flipped board and lost poles.
​So get yourself an SUP and see what the fuss is all about. There are economical options out there.
Bent rods and Screaming Drags,
Capt. Sean Abbey

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Practice Makes Perfect

So you want to not only catch that bucket list fish but you wanna do it on fly. Better get out there and practice. In my opinion presentation is the most important part of fly fishing. Not the fly, your reel or your rod, or your buff and clothing choice.

Have you really looked at most flies? Do you really think that ball of fuzz or hair tied to a hook shank is what made the fish say “oh, I gotta have that?” The right fly is essential but quite a few can be the right fly in many situations.

You can have the baddest ass reel, milled from a single piece of bar stock aluminum with the sexiest engineering out there. Guess what? Fish didn’t even see that reel. Now your rod is extremely important to presentation but if it took a $1000 rod to get a fish to bite, there would be a heck of a lot less fish caught on fly.

Buffs are awesome and they serve a necessary need, as does having all the upf this and that clothing one can stand, but it doesn’t mean squat to catching a fish. Go with light colors on bright, bluebird sky days, grey and darker colors on overcast days and camouflage if your stalking streams.

Simple enough but none of the above will hook a fish as often as a fly caster that can put the fly just right there, yeah that’s the spot. Even the most professional casters spend time in some grass fields practicing. Besides nothing is funnier than the gut busting ” how’s the fishing?” From the park smo walking the 1/16 mile lap around before going home to pop a squat on the couch.

You have to get out there and give yourself goals and targets. It’s frustrating to finally get that day on the water where the moons align for fly fishing that school of reds you’ve been peeping at low tide only to line the school on your first shot. I like to push it when I practice. I tell people to start with hoola hoops and size down as you get consistent in fly placement. I use upside down frisbees placed all over at different ranges and angles and play out the scenario, don’t just go through the motions. It’s hard to drop a fly into a frisbee, but the more consistent you can get at it the more bites you are going to get, regardless of the fly, rod, reel or your brand new ice camo buff.

Capt Sean Abbey
Overboard Fishing Rods, LLC
Native Angler Guide Service

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Nighttime Redfishing in the Panhandle

Yes it is cold and dark, but the water is deep and the fish are everywhere. The place is Philip Dane Beall, Sr., Memorial Bridge, (AKA 3 mile bridge) spanning across Pensacola bay connecting Gulf Breeze to Pensacola. The old fishing bridge next to it was damaged by hurricanes and some of it fell into the water creating nice bottom structure for everything from Pinfish to sharks to hang.

If you are going to fish make sure you dress appropriately, as the wind has been known to pick up quite a bite during the night, and be ready to paddle or peddle as the current does flow quickly. During the winter months though is when the best fishing will be had. The white trout are so thick that within minutes of putting your kayak in the water you will have as many as you like for the redfish to feed on. As the night proceeds you will find that you can fish anyway you choose, whether bumping the bottom with a jig, sight casting with a top water lure or just relaxing and letting the fresh trout you just caught swim off the bottom. The big Red drums are for sure to give you the action you are looking for. You may even be in for a treat, and a chase, as they have been known to bite that little 1/8 ounce jig on lite tackle that you were using to catch the trout on. Then it’s all you can do to keep them out of the pilings and snapping your line.

Fishing the lights is the key as each one will hold its share of fish, as we found out on the 19th of January; over 30 were caught that night ranging from 24 to 42 inches. Don’t forget a friend; you will need someone to take a good pic of you holding that trophy Red drum and share in the experience of a lifetime.

Eric Kaiser
OFR Pro Staff

overboardrods.com
http://www.facebook.com/OverboardFishingRods

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Winter Redfishing with a Buggy Whip

Brrrrrr, it’s getting cold out there. It’s that time of the year, northeasters, grey skies and bone chilling cold. Guess it’s time for some of us to put up those fly rods till next spring’s flood tides, right? Heck no, are you crazy? We’re coming up on what is in my opinion the second best time of the year for fly fishing in northeast Florida. Yes it’s cold, and yes the fish are getting lethargic and not eating as much, but we do still get those glorious chamber of commerce, blue bird sky days that can put the fish into feeding mode. We also have the clearest water we ever get around these parts this time of year, thanks to that cold water killing off the blooms that add to the cloudiness of our already tannin waters.
Wintertime is a great time of year to take the fly rod with you on your next fishing trip when the conditions are right. You need a nice clear day with a low tide occurring mid-morning to early afternoon; this will help warm up those mudflats making the fish more active. The timing will also allow for better sight fishing in the shallows with the sun high overhead allowing optimal conditions for seeing those schools and small packs of cruising fish. You can usually find them on dark mudflats in areas that have either gone completely bone dry at low tide, or only hold mere inches of water. All it takes is a few degrees of temperature change to draw the reds to it as the tide rises.
When you find the schools of redfish you’ve hit pay dirt in a few ways, cause “Clark, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.” When you find that pod of fish they can now more than likely be patterned throughout the rest of winter. The fish will hang in the same places for most of the winter, saving you time searching when there is already a limited window of time and even fewer pristine weather opportunities to get in on this incredible cold weather fly rodding. You will want to keep your fish secrets to yourself though. Pick your fishing partners carefully, because the more pressure the fish get, the more likely they are to move on or get a severe case of lockjaw.
While the fish are going to be fickle, they will still eat. A well-placed fly is just the right sized snack for a slowed metabolism redfish’s small appetite this time of year. I suggest a 7wt or 6wt fly rod to make a more precise presentation. Don’t forget to also use a colder water fly line, especially if you have a tropical temp line on your reel already. Many fly patterns work and we all have our favorites. I like to use a small shrimp pattern in lighter neutral colors.
You can expect to see light crowds this time of year which is a blessing. The waterways will be especially bare on those really cold days. Don’t be afraid to break out your winter extreme wear and go enjoy your favorite creek to yourself when it’s really cold, because nobody else will be crazy enough to go. If the suns shinning, the fishing could be incredible, even on days the temp hovers around freezing for a high. Two winters ago I landed 7 redfish from 26-32 inches off the same shell bar, and all were caught on a 7wt buggy whip on a day the temps might have tickled 40 degrees. With all the advances in cold weather gear over the last 10 years, you can stay pleasantly warm even in the coldest conditions – – without being be bundled up like Ralphy’s brother, Randy.
So don’t pack up all your fly gear just yet. Wintertime is not the time to sit at your fly vise tying crab patterns and dreaming of tails waving in the grass. Winter is the time to get out and catch em up.

Capt. Sean Abbey
Capt Sean runs Native Angler Guide Service (nativeangler.net) in Jacksonville, Fl and is Co- owner of Overboard Fishing Rods (overboardrods.com). Native Angler runs charters out of kayaks and boats or a combination of both all over northeast Florida’s waterways.

Article from Coastal Angler Magazine

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