Estero Bay

Estero Bay

The cold weather is still plaguing us die-hard anglers but the good news is warm weather it right around the corner (we’re hoping). The fishing has had its challenges but there are still many opportunities for some great fishing out there. Deep holes and warm water should be your focus for locating schooled up fish. You will find the warmest waters up creeks and rivers, which will hold good numbers of fish.

Snook and Jacks can be found in the warmer holes up the river. Deep-water docks will hold larger Snook that can be caught using large live shrimp or casting plugs and swim baits. Out in the bay in deep channels close to grass flats you will find schools of trout this time of year. As the water warms up in the afternoon the trout will move up onto the grass flats. Use live shrimp under a popping cork or Hybrid Flurry Swim Bait on a ¼ ounce jig head. Redfish can be found on the grass flats tailing at low tide or you can find them against mangrove shorelines against dark bottom. Use shrimp with a small split shot on the bottom or under a popping cork, both techniques will work well.

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There is also an array of mixed bag fish that are great to catch this time of year in these cold conditions such as Ladyfish and Jacks. Use Bucktail Jigs or Hybrid Flurry Swim bait with a ¼ ounce jig head. Remember that the fish will strike while the jig head is falling through the water column. They will usually be schooled up together in residential cannels. Sheepshead will be found on structure such as large concrete docks or the many bridges that span the bay. Use small to medium shrimp or fiddler crabs on the bottom with as little weight as possible to keep it pinned to the bottom.

As soon as the warm temperatures return and the water begins to warm up, the fishing will really turn on again and this cold spell will be a faint memory.

Capt. Steve Nagy

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