As we move towards our winter here in the Everglades there are the evident signs. Temperatures are still up in the eighties mid day but mornings are a little cooler and the water temperatures have dropped into the seventies from the much warmer eighties to upper ninety degree temperatures of summer. Being bothered by mosquitoes and no-seeums is now minimal. The sounds and sights are changing also with the arrival of all the different migratory birds that spend the winter months here.
With the cooler temperatures the fish here will begin their winter habits. Snook are known to migrate into the backcountry to warmer waters. A great way I love to spend the worst of days in winter here when it’s colder and the predominate NE winds are blowing is kayak fishing the shallow backwater bays and creeks for snook. Along with saying that I have caught some real nice snook on the coldest of days around the outer barrier islands while fishing for redfish and sea trout. It’s a given that in the winter fishery here that trout fishing is at its best and they can be caught in great numbers along the outer coastal areas. Redfish on the other hand are not as abundant but I’ve had good success in finding and catching them in some of the outside bays and bites (coves) and still also in the backcountry. Tarpon fishing will be sporadic and mostly by chance as most of the larger fish will have migrated farther south. Juveniles on the other hand will hold up in some of the deeper creeks and small rivers that I fish and look forward to going out and targeting them later in the winter.
Over the last few days I’ve gone out I fished in and around Chokoloskee bay working my way through some of the maze of mangrove islands. I’ve been spending a lot of time sight fishing and exploring some very shallow areas poling my way around in my Native Ultimate. It takes a lot of time and patience but its real exciting catching fish in this manner. I ended up catching a few reds this way and lost a very large red due to line failure which apparently there was a nick in the braided line, that was more disappointing than exiting but it happens. especially fishing around oysters. Fishing other areas I caught some snook but they are not as abundant as they were a week ago and also early on topwaters fishing in the current with an outgoing tide I have caught a few trout, all of them nice size between 18 and 20 inches.