During the winter we target Speckled Trout and Redfish along with laid up snook. When a cold front is a day or two out, prefrontal fishing can be very active. Savvy anglers learn that watching the weather this time of year is just as important as knowing tide movement and moon phase. With winds at higher velocity this time of year you must learn the affect it has on tide length, the flood and Eb tide and what that means. Here are some insights.
Winds affect the turn and duration of the tide. With an east wind and falling tide in the Glades and Ten Thousand Islands we can have a longer duration falling tide and as much as a foot or more less water than your chart says for that day. The wind will add time to the falling tide and will delay the turn to begin the flood cycle. Another factor is atmospheric pressure. High pressure will ad surface pressure and can affect both tides enhance the wind affect more. Where the inverse, low pressure allows more water to stay and give you a higher flood tide.
Use the Knowledge
Taking in those factors, Speckled Trout and Redfish targeting in winter has some science and planning involved. Along with snook they will be searching those flats on flood tide. Search the mangrove shore line, oyster bars and deep edges on the falling tide for a morsel or two. Take your time approaching a flat or target area. Don’t run full speed instead stop a few hundred feet away and work a search bait like a Zman Jerk Shad or paddle tail. Once you get to your area give it 10-15 minutes. If you’re not at least catching ladyfish or other critters, move on. Have a plan to follow the tide. Don’t just go to areas you have had success before.
In the next blog I will talk about post front. Know when the temps drop and the cold wind is cranking.
Capt. John Pfeiffer