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Florida Saltwatrer Fishing - Working Around All of This Bad Weather

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Florida Saltwatrer Fishing - Working Around All of This Bad Weather Florida Saltwatrer Fishing - Working Around All of This Bad Weather
By Hugh Crumpler

We have had our share of bad weather the past few months and like most of you I still like to try to get in some fishing on my off days. Here are a few ways to still catch fish and be safe in the process.

If you think about the main motivating factor with fish, you can find them when your buddies are struggling.

A fish's main motivation is FOOD. Think about where the food might be and what this weather has done to make the food (bait) move or relocate to other areas. When we have an unusual amount of rain as we have in the past couple of months, everything fishing related changes, especially the bait. For inshore fishing the food that almost all fish target is SHRIMP. Shrimp is the bait that is most effected by water salinity and they are generally on a constant search or move for the perfect mix of fresh and salt water. With all of this rain that we have had, the salinity has definitely changed in most areas from a pretty good salt content to almost fresh water in some areas.

Based on the above, think about what species that you want to target and how a major change on water salinity effects the different species.

Shrimp is by far the number one bait of most inshore fish and if you can chase the shrimp, you will find the fish. Shrimp will, as fast as their little legs allow them, run from the almost tap water to a saltier mix. FIND THE SHRIMP AND YOU WILL FIND THE FISH.

Trout DO NOT like a lot of fresh water and will move miles to run from the fresh water in search of the perfect salinity. If you are going to target trout, try to find places that have a salt content that you can taste. Yes taste. Reach over the side of your boat and scoop up some water in your hand and taste it. If it is like tap water, try places closer to the ocean. If you can taste some salt, you might be in the right spot for trout. Try a 1/4 to 3/8 ounce Jaw Jacker jig with a Sea Striker Trout Killer. I like the pink or chartreuse colors but I would imagine any of the usual colors would work.

Redfish are not as effected by the sudden drop in salinity as trout but it will effect them some. The main effect a lot of rain has on redfish is the runoff causes tiny particulates to be in the water and these small pieces of sand and what ever else runs into the water causes the fishes gills to be irritated. This causes the fish to be sluggish and sort of like us when we just don't feel good. You know when you just don't feel good, you don't have much of an appetite. The fish are the same as us in this respect. Lately, I have been using the Sea Striker Trout Killer in rootbeer with silver flake on a Jaw Jacker Jig and doing pretty good. This same soft plastic can be worked over the tops of oyster mounds with an X-Point X-25-Z worm hook in 4/0. You can rig this weedless (snag proof). No weight, just the hook and the Trout Killer. If you are going to use this rig, my choice of equipment is 10 pound test Power Pro for the line, a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Lite Graphite 7 to 7 1/2 foot medium light action with a Pflueger 4730 spinning reel. This combination will allow you to make extremely long cast and is light enough to work a bait that is very light. The killer thing about this rig is you will be able to cast 50% farther than any of your buddies so if you are on the trolling motor, you can keep the boat just out of range for their cast.

Black Drum are almost like redfish when a sudden blast of fresh water runs into their habitat. It really does not shut them down but it will make them start moving towards saltier water. But most of all they are more interested in chasing the shrimp from the freshwater to the saltier water. These fish will eat a fresh shrimp, clam or squid.

Jacks are going to head toward the inlets as fast as they can swim and when you find these giant concentrations of jacks they will almost certainly be feeding on their number one bait, MULLET. Find the big schools of finger mullet that are heading for the ocean and you will find the jacks. If you like top water try a MirrOlure Top Pup for surface strikes or a diving MirrOlure for subsurface attacks. These fish are feeding in big schools and should not be hard to find. Try the inlets or waters near the inlets.

Flounder are more like the reds and drum as far as the effect of the big freshwater intrusion. They will stay in an area and feed as long as there is bait there. I did pretty good in some of the creeks that were almost fresh water last week on flounder and some nice ones to boot. For these fish try a shrimp on a Jaw Jacker jig, an Exude Shrimp (I like the glow in the dark with chartreuse tail and the brown with chartreuse tail), a Sea Striker trout grub in brown, white, or white with a chartreuse tail. With this combination in your box, you should have no problem catching a few for the table.

No for the safe part. With this unstable weather, keep on eye on the sky. Thunderstorms can pop up quick and you do not want to be caught in the lightning. If you have waited to long to run from the bad weather and it looks like you are going to get wet, look for a bridge or dock to get under until it passes.

Try these methods and you will catch a few

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