A cure for winter/ catch and release fishing - Posted: 01/01/12
A sure cure for the winter time blues is a trip to the Forgotten Coast, the average temp in January-Feb is a balmy 62, the seas generally favorable, and the fish very active. If a catch and release trip for red snapper or gag grouper sounds like more fun than shoveling snow, then now is the time to call.
This time of year we leave mid to late morning and run 7-8 miles to 60-70 ft of water. The water temps are low 60's and very clear, there is less live bait around the structures and the reef fish are very aggressive. Catching and releasing 20-30 red snapper in the 8-12 lb class on light spinning tackle is just fun....and if you want something to eat, we'll spend time dropping pieces of frozen squid to the black sea bass, they are 1-3 lbs and delicious. The same reefs produce some 15-20 lb gag grouper, also out of season, but a real test of your manhood to get them away from the reef balls.
If the wind picks up and something nearshore is needed, there are some huge red drum to be had in the passes and cuts.
So, bottom line, there is something fun to do on Winter Floridaze, and the only white stuff you'll see is SAND!!!