Get Ready for Winter Fishing in Sarasota! Here’s What to Expect

October 25, 2019

While the weather might be frightful up north, we still have plenty of great winter fishing in Florida. Thanks to diverse habitats and the freshwater rivers streaming into Sarasota Bay, anglers are treated to a wonderful fishing experience all year long.

Ready to catch some fish? Here’s what you can expect from winter fishing in Florida.

What fish to catch in Florida for the winter

Florida boat captains and fishermen have been scouring the waters for what we can expect to find this winter. Here are some of the fish you might see on your winter fishing excursion:

  • Trout
  • Flounder
  • Jacks
  • Ladyfish
  • False albacore
  • Tripletail
  • Spanish mackerel
  • Redfish
  • Snook
  • Mangrove snapper
  • Black drum

If the conditions are right, expect to find false albacore, tripletail, bluefish and Spanish mackerel in the coastal gulf. Lighted docks and bridges offer a great opportunity for catch and release snook fishing. You can find snook, redfish and trout on shallow flats and on the edges of bars, especially during negative low tides. Tripletail are often hanging out near crab trap floats and channel markers. Rough and cold water will likely move fish further south or offshore. If you see terns diving into the water, you can expect to find false albacores and mackerels feeding on the surface. This is what you can expect for what fish to catch in Florida for the winter.

Tips for winter fishing in Florida

When the water is cold, you need to present your bait slower than you normally would. The cold water slows the fish’s metabolism and causes it to move more slowly, so it won’t go after fast prey it doesn’t think it can catch.

Because of this, you’ll need to have plenty of patience. Fish may watch the bait for a while before deciding whether to exert the energy to attack. If you know an area has many fish, be sure to return later. If the water has warmed even a little, the fish may be more active.

Warm water is more likely to hold fish than cold water. If you can find warmer water, you’ll be more successful. Look for areas with dark-colored bottoms, which indicate the presence of mud and weeds. The sand, mud and weeds radiate heat and attract fish. Another good spot is where creeks and rivers feed into a larger body of water. Fish like to gather at the opening.

Deep water is less likely to experience the temperature swings that make fish less mobile. Deep holes or channels are likely to contain fish seeking a more regulated temperature. Present your bait close to the bottom and move slowly for greater success.

For winter fishing, you can hit the snooze button, as it’s better to start later in the day. Fish will be more active when the sun has had time to warm the water. Wait until midday to start your productive fishing trip.

Florida is lucky to have plenty of great fishing into the winter. You can expect to stay comfortable and have an active day if you follow these tips for winter fishing in Florida. Contact Charter Boat Shark today to schedule your trip.

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