Cooler temperatures and clear water generally push most of our inshore fish into deeper water and our offshore fish into a feeding frenzy. This time of the year we look for calm clear days to sight fish the flats or to bottom fish the near and offshore wrecks.
This month’s feature is Sheepshead fishing
Sheepshead are one of the hardest fighting and best eating fish that we have this time of year. These fish get their name from the sheeps-like teeth that they use to crush barnacles and crabs. They are also known as “convicts” due to the vertical stripes that run down their bodies, but the name ever fits as steal bait after bait off of your hook without you feeling a thing. Don’t worry however; they keep coming back for more. During the winter months sheepshead school up on the near shore wrecks where we can use light tackle to catch them.
Short days and cooler air drive the water temperature into the low 50s this time of year. Not only does the water become cooler but also crystal clear. As the water cools most fish move into deeper water with the exception of schooling redfish which will huddle together on low tide flats in large numbers. This creates a good opportunity for shallow water sight fishing. Given good conditions don’t be surprised to get shots at large schools of fish (sometimes 100 plus fish per school) with light tackle and fly fishing gear.
Near and Offshore Wreck Fishing
Some of the best winter time fishing can be done on the wrecks which are located six to twenty miles offshore. On an average day look to catch a variety of fish to include: sheepshead, weakfish, bull redfish, flounder and sea bass. Not only are these fish a lot of fun to catch but also great to eat. Due to the fact that these wrecks are located in open water we generally look for light winds and calm seas to go offshore.
Provided by: http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com