Is it really January— Even the fish seem confused.
Is winter finally going to settle in for Anna Maria Island? Mild temperatures and calm waters have made most of our winter season feel like fall never ended. As I sit writing this article my thermometer outside reads seventy-eight degrees.
Clear blue skies accompanied by a warm easterly breeze are the ingredients for a perfect day on the water —and it’s January. During most years, fishing in January can be challenging at best. Frequent cold fronts, gale force winds from the northeast, and rough seas make it difficult to muster up the motivation to even set foot in the boat —But not this January.
Not only is this apparent in the pleasant weather, but also in the patterns of the fish we target. I’m still seeing snook patrolling the flats, which can be a challenge in January. And they are still feeding on whitebait, too. You would think they would be wintering in a warm marina or canal. I’m seeing schooling redfish along sandy beaches like they’re staging up to move offshore. They should hunkered down under some dock waiting for the sun to come out. Also, the sheepshead seem a little disoriented, as if they are waiting for a REAL cold front to trigger them to head toward their spawning areas.
Are these signs of a brutally cold February or are going to narrowly escape the clutches of “old man winter.” Who can say? As far as I’m concerned I’ll take the warmer temperatures any day.