January Fishing on the Emerald Coast

Wait on the right weather conditions; we will get some of those perfect days to do this. I look for the blue sky and light north wind days. This makes for the best conditions to head into the gulf and look for the winter Tiny Tunny, better known as Bo Bo’s, Bonito and False Albacore. There is little to no food value but a lot of fun fishing here. This is also very good practice to hone in on your sight fishing skills. This fish are feeding on the small bait fish that get real close to the surf, in 6 inches of water. The sun will warm the shallow water and that’s where the bait wants to get; hence this is where the fish will be. We locals call this Redneck Bone Fishing.

I’ll anchor up at a casting distance off the beach and sit and wait for the fish to come to me. Moving around just telegraphs the fish that you are there trying to catch them. This gives the angler a chance to see the fish coming and present the fly or lure to the fish in plenty of time to move it when the fish gets into sight of the lure. Start by easing down the beach looking for the washouts that are along the surf. Then position yourself on either end that best suits you to be able to cast to the opening where the water comes out of the washout. The water this time of the year is super clear so tackle down; I use 15 pound test fluorocarbon leaders and small flies and spoons. An 8 weight fly rod and 10 pound test spinning outfits are sufficient. Just make sure you have enough backing on your reel in case you get a 5 pounder on.

You’re gonna also keep an eye out for the oversized Redfish, they will be making their way back into the Gulf on their migration back to the deep water, it’s not uncommon to see very large schools of these fish looking for something to eat just off the beach. The passes are also a good place to find Bull Redfish they will hold up on the deeper structures and jetties and feed up on a moving tide.

For the fisher person that wants something to eat, fish for Flounder. By now most all the spawning activity is over with and the fish are looking to making their way back into the bay systems. Look around the deeper structure inside the passes where you find bait. They are not going to stay in a place long if there is nothing to eat. Look for the bait pods and drop a jig head with a shrimp type lure or a live finger mullet down.

Most of the Speckled Trout are in the Bayou’s and rivers. Drift or slow troll with a sinking jerk bait and work it slow. Especially on the days it warms up, the fish have to eat sometimes and if you hit it on the right day you could have some big fun!

Thanks for following my blog!

Capt Eddie

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