Now that the water temperatures are consistently cooler, the fish can be found in the creeks or on the edge of the creeks. When we have a spell of cold weather, they'll tend to move into the creeks. But when we have a week of warmer weather, they'll move back to the mouth of the creeks or on the shallow flats near the creeks.
On cooler days you'll find smaller trout and reds congregated in holes in the creeks. These fish will tend to be short or barely legal, but are pretty easy to catch. The larger trout and reds can be found on the flats near the creeks, as they don't care much for the tight schools of smaller fish. Look for bigger fish sunning on the mud flats or near oyster bars on the shallow grass flats.
This is the time of year when artificial lures shine. Fish will make more "reaction strikes" this time of year to glitter and bright colors on artificial lures. Slow presentation is key though. These fish are sluggish because of the cold water. As a result, make sure to move your baits slowly through the water to get a strike.
Mirro-lures, plugs, and soft plastics are the way to go when fishing for trout and reds in the winter months. Suspending twitch baits works great with a slow presentation. Cast and let them fall through the water column, giving them a slight twitch followed by a lengthy pause. The Paul Brown soft suspending jerk baits are phenomenal this time of year.
When using soft plastics, be sure to use a smaller bait. Something just a few inches long will trigger a bite. We like to use ned rigs this time of year because the extra weight helps the bait sink faster. We plan on trying some live shrimp soon, but pinfish won't be a good bait until water temps warm again.
This fishing report is brought to you by Captain Jason Witherspoon of Spoon Fed Charters in Keaton Beach, Florida.