Fishing on the flats in the big bend area of Florida is much the same this week as it has been for the last month or so. The fishing has been as good as you could expect it to be for this time of year, and we expect it to only improve in the weeks to come. We're continuing to catch limits of trout and large reds when the fishing conditions are right.
The fish are biting best in the mornings and late afternoons when the wind is blowing and light intensity is lower. Don't even bother trying to fish during the middle of the day when the water is still. Some of our best fishing has been after 4:00pm once the sun starts fading and the water is moving.
On our last trip, we caught a limit of speckled trout with only a few short fish. All of the keepers were in the 15"-20" range with one fish around 21." We also caught two slot, keeper redfish and one that was over 30."
Our baits of choice for the speckled trout have been soft plastics, shrimp, and pinfish suspended under a popping cork. When fishing the live pinfish, it's important to cast on the side of the boat so that the boat is moving towards the cork. If the tension is too tight on the line, the fish aren't likely to keep the bait once biting. Having a little slack in the line will improve the chances that the fish stays on the line.
Redfish are biting live pinfish as well, and we're having good luck with topwater and jerk baits when we can catch a break in the grass. The grass is still pretty heavily spread across the flats right now. But if you find a break in the floating grass, be sure to throw a topwater lure for solid redfish action. We're also catching a few reds near the oyster bars using gold spoons.
As the temperatures cool in the late fall and winter months, we'll start to see the fish move towards the creeks and rivers. This usually happens in conjunction with the pinfish moving offshore. When the pinfish move offshore, the trout move to the rivers to feed on shrimp in the deep holes.
This fishing report is brought to you by Captain Jason Witherspoon of Spoon Fed Charters in Keaton Beach, Florida.