Cold weather requires different fishing methods for warmer water. To catch fish, find areas slightly higher than surrounding areas, such as natural springs or coves. Spring-fed waters on outgoing tides pull warm waters out of rivers, while keys along east-west and northern shorelines provide cozy fishing spots. Patience is key, as low and slow lures can be rewarding, resembling a freshwater crappie bite.
Cold Weather Inshore Fishing
Cold weather means different methods of catching fish when water is warmer. During weather that keeps the water temperatures below 63 fish will become lethargic and the key to catching them is to find areas that are just a few degrees higher than surrounding areas. An easy place to fish warm water is natural springs and saltwater species can tolerate the fresh water for short periods of time during severe cold snaps.
The spring fed waters on outgoing tides will pull the warm waters out the river and pockets of warmth will make their way into coves and holes all the way to the Gulf. Other areas to target are keys that run east to west and northern shore lines. The high mangroves or trees block a cold northern wind and with the southern facing sun beating down on the shoreline during the mid part of the day makes a cozy place to fish.
Patience is the key to putting fish to the boat. Low and slow with lures, it's almost painful to fish that way but feeling that light tick in the line is worth it. It reminds me of a freshwater crappie bite when a trout takes the bait, it's very light.
Capt. William ToneyCaptain William Toney In The Spread, Instructor