We've had some warmer weather towards the end of this week and into the weekend, which might cause some slight changes in fish activity. But things will stay the same for the most part until we start to get consistently warm temperatures. Spring isn't far away though, so it won't be long!
Most of the fish are being caught in the rivers and creeks using suspended plugs and bumping jigs along the bottom. On the colder days, you'll usually find schools of fish nestled close to oyster bars or other structure. Be sure to fish slow on these cold days because the fish aren't very active.
We have talked to one captain who is having success on the shallow flats right outside the creek and river mouths. He's been catching fish in 2.5'-3' of water using suspending plugs and bumping jigs. On these warmer days, you'll find the fish scattering from the creeks a bit and a good limit can be caught on the shallow flats.
When we get a stretch of warmer days, that causes the water temps on the shallow flats to rise fairly quickly. As that water enters the creeks and rivers on an incoming tide, the fish will seek that warmer water and venture to the flats for a bit. When it cools again, they'll go back to the creeks and rivers.
Based on the weather we've been having, the location of the fish might be a little variable during the next month depending on what the weather does. If things start to warm significantly, we'll see an early movement to the flats. If we keep getting these cool spells, they'll stay in the creeks and rivers. Follow the weather patterns so you can easily find the fish.
When those fish do finally move to the flats for good, the topwater action should be hot. Jigs with soft plastics and shrimp will be highly-effective in spring as well. Try and match your lures to what the fish are eating and you'll have success.
Pinfish usually aren't an effective bait until the water temps get to 70F and above. That's when the pinfish will move from offshore to the flats seeking refuge in the grass. It will be interesting to see how much of the grass has died this winter due to all the freezing temps we've had.
If a significant portion of the grass has been bitten by the frost, that will delay the arrival of the pinfish. They need that cover of the grass. The grass will regrow once temperatures warm significantly in spring, but that delay could cause the pinfish to stay offshore a little longer.
This fishing report is brought to you by Captain Jason Witherspoon of Spoon Fed Charters in Keaton Beach, Florida.