Cold, wet, and windy pretty much sums up the last week and a half here on the Space Coast, leaving very few options to get out fishing. Fortunately, if you’re willing to brave the conditions, there are still a few options that are productive such as sheepshead fishing, and my favorite, beating the bushes!
When we experience cool events that are prolonged, such as the weather we’re experiencing lately, I turn to fishing the mangroves and deeper banks with coquina rock. These are several areas fish will congregate in large numbers and are usually pretty cooperative with the right bait and some patience.
When fishing the mangroves this time of year, my go to bait is a medium size dead shrimp. I personally avoid live baits that make a lot of movement as most the time I find the fish to be in a slow moving mode and aren’t up for much of a chase. A dead free line shrimp with a good bit of funk can produce some amazing results. It will get everything going, from black drum, sheepshead, speckled trout, and much more.
It’s important when fishing mangrove lines to pay really close attention. Try to pick an area that’s deeper, and usually with a muddy bottom. In my experience, these areas produce the best. Shallow areas may be productive mid day on a warm bright sunny day, but for the most part, these fish are going to be stuffed in small deep pockets up under the bushes. Don’t be surprised if you fish miles of shoreline to find the majority of your catch all in one small hole. W
inter can be a bit challenging, but with some perseverance and slowing way way down, you can have some incredible days!