Flagler County Fishing Report – January 2024 recap
Fishing Report brought to you by Chris with Skinny Water Lures.
In the beginning of January the water and air temperatures continue to drop, but Chris from Skinny Water Lures has got you covered with some great fishing advice for these cooler Florida temps!
As the temperature drops, the predatory fish are pushing to the deeper holes to stay warm. We found targeting these deeper holes early morning while slowly bouncing or dragging a 3 inch paddle tail or curly tail grub along the bottom, had the redfish chewing. As you target these deeper holes back in the flats or small creeks, remember to work these areas slowly and as quietly as possible. With the drop in temperatures these redfish are lethargic and will be spooked easily. Mid-day, while fishing the small creeks mouths, we found good numbers of redfish sunning on top and along side the oyster bars. As the temperatures continue to drop, focus on a very slow retrieve around oyster bars and deep holes.
Mid month the bite was on fire. With the cold water temperatures we set out looking to focus on the deep holes around oyster bars in the High Bridge area. Early morning we focused on the trout bite, by tying on a Skinny Water Lures suspending twitchbait. We found areas with moving water, so that throwing up current allowed the lure to drift back towards us. We focused our retrieve on a twitch-twitch-pause method. During this winter time your twitch motion should be soft and light. Most strikes happened as this twitch bait was suspended in the water column, allowing that bait to float motionless. In the winter time and during colder water temperatures, work these style lures with a twitching motion every few seconds. Really slow down your retrieve in the winter.
As we mentioned, in these colder months the redfish become very lethargic and spook easily. If you throw a larger paddle tail or a lure with a lot of vibration or action you will tend to drive these redfish away. Keeping this in mind, we decide to downsize and throw the 3 inch SWL curly tail grub. We focused areas with deep holes and nearby oyster bars. These deep holes hold warmer water and the nearby oyster bars allow the redfish to adventure out to get bait and then dive back into the deep hole. Focus bouncing a curly tail grub on a jig-head off the bottom in the deep holes. Doing this jigging motion in the water column and allowing it to fall right back down, gives that corkscrew tail tremendous action with less vibration. Doing this technique allowed us to produce numerous upper slot redfish.
Approaching the end of the month the bite became tough due to more cold fronts and rainy days. Fish become more active as the drop in barometric pressure signals feeding opportunities. The approaching precipitation often stimulates fish to feed more aggressively, making it an opportune time to fish. However immediately after rain or during a cold front, fish might become less active. The sudden change in weather conditions can temporarily disrupt their feeding patterns, leading to a potential lull in bites. Patience and adaptability become crucial as you may need to adjust your technique, lures or bait presentation to entice bites during these post frontal conditions. Understanding the nuances of fish behavior in response to weather changes adds an extra layer of strategy for success on the water during these times.
During the winter time, the speckle sea trout bite will also turn up. Focus areas with deep drop-offs or deep holes with moving water. These deep drop-offs or holes with moving water allow the trout to gather in multiple numbers. These trout will position down deep or just outside the drop-offs, waiting to ambush the bait fish as the current pushes them over the deep holes. With these winter patterns we found a suspending twitchbait is the bait of choice for trout. These trout cannot resist the twitch pause action, causing most strikes to happen on the pause. This action allows the suspending twitchbait to be a top rated lure of choice for winter time trout.
Chris Crego, Skinny Water Lures