Winter Bait how to catch’em



Ok lets get right to it.

Shrimp
How to get them fresh yourself, many don’t realize that shrimp start to move as winter pulls in, not many but some nights enough to fish with and leave you a couple of nice appetizers for the next dinner the next day.

Now to do this you must be close enough to the water to be able to use a dip net and you need enough light to illuminate the water to get the shrimp to come up off of the bottom.
I see them around inlets and off of the Broward piers. Now as you see them swoop under and dip’em, you can use a cast net in some areas but I don’t find enough to make it worth the energy loss of throwing the net.

I see shrimp from Dec to February scattered with some nights thick enough to call it shrimping, our shrimp time is not until February to April but none the less they are there during the times I have mentioned.

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December – Broward County South Florida Boatless Fishing Forecast

December is the month that begins our shorebound waning time before the spring run and things will slow some by the end of the month, but we will still see great catches this month and then again everything seems late so we may see the fishing good well into December hard to predict mother nature.

All the piers from the North to the South will see the chance to get nice size Cobia, King Mackerel and Bonita. Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish and some Pompano will be caught also.

The piers with rocky bottom should be producing Mangrove, Mutton, Dog snappers along with Margates. My suggestion for the snapper would be ballyhoo plugs fished on a typical bottom rig, with the ballyhoo moving in this month the muttons should be zeroed in on them. Another little tip is if you see a school of ballyhoo and its lingering around the jetty or pier, cast a bait out to the center of the school. I always find mutton snappers under the ballyhoo the snapper are feeding on any and all pieces that drop from predatory fish (Bonita, Kings and large Spanish Macks) that are feeding on them.

Inlets and the bridges around inlets should have Snook, Tarpon, and you may also get Sheephead or large Cuberra Snapper using a troll rite jighead with a large shrimp. Work the edges of the drop offs from the shore on the incoming and out going tide hour before and a hour after.

Bait along the coast will be small Pilchard, Sardines, lingering mullet and goggle eyess. Some of the piers may have some pinfish and now the ballyhoo will begin to move in thicker.

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BRrrrrr Winter Fishing in South Florida

Ahhhh the cold air is moving in and the wind is strong and the bite has lessened since fall, but fish are here and it is all in the method you use and the time you put in.

This is not a time that you can run out and fish for an hour and get a bunch of fish, the only fish that will be in abundance at night will be Bluefish, During the Day maybe Bluefish. Small Sharks will be also around in numbers at night and Daytime. Spanish Mackerel, Pompano, Snappers all species will show everyday for a spurt if were lucky we will get more then a few in a short burst.
So this is to give you some pointers as to how to fish now and to help you with your patience.

First thing is bait.
Fresh Fresh Fresh this is key, I would get fresh Shrimp, Pilchard, goggle eyes, BALLYHOO will be the bait.
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Quick guide to running with the Fall Migratory runs’

“A little early by a few weeks but soon to be here”

Because these fish at this time are out for the hunger of it and the sport with the water just filled with food. At times I have seen so many Mullet for so far and you could see as the swells came in the hundreds of little heads and tails wishling around and as a big fish would creep up from below and they would all at once like a wave in a stadium move and at night watching with shoreline light seeing huge silver sides envolping waves of white from all the mullet splashing up for as far as you could see with the darkness of the night sky in the back ground and the sounds of the fish “remarkable and unforgetable”.
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“Not so Deadly Catch”

Blue claw Florida crab

Aggresive Blue claw Florida crab

Well we have here in Florida our own Crabbing, not as ferocious as Alaska and not done from a boat but none the less a rock and rolling time.

Well there is three types I know you can get in south Florida that are delicious, Stone, Blueclaw, Calico-“Speckled Crab”, for the most part the Calico-“Speckled Crab” is most abundant all year and also keep in mind regulations on Stone and Blue claw crabs.

Well my purpose for getting crabs has always been for bait but in the past years I have done so well I decided to start bringing crabs home for the wife and family.

All traps work and even a chicken leg on a string and a net, I will go into this in a little depth.
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Eeeeek BLUEFISH “Get Out of the Water”

Screams of panic, then the action of those screams “the people swimming” running for their lives, as Huge schools of Bluefish are moving North on their Spring migrations and are at consistently 14 to 18 pounds and traveling in numbers that only nightmares are made of and they are consuming everything in their paths, swimmers run from the water with bites in there extremity and bleeding.”its a scary moment because most are thinking sharks” but its only bluefish the Atlantic piranha its 1969 South Florida. Those were the Days, will we see them again I doubt it marine management could never bring them back unless they shut them down to harvesting period for many years.

Well we don’t get massive schools of bluefish like the 60s but we do still get bluefish runs, The spring brings us the bigger ones moving north and the fall has the 1 to 6 lb range, more schools in the fall but the little monsters of the shore can still go as big as 20lbs on the spring run north.

Eric catching Bluefish on Top water lures

Eric catching Bluefish on Top water lures

Well when these bluefish are schooling through in large schools they are easy because they hit anything that moves, a large Top water is great because you get to watch them chasing and fight for it.

But when they are few it makes it tricky, here is some suggestions for Atlantic side of Florida.
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