Thanksgiving leftovers are gone — time to fill the fridge with fillets
Now that all of the leftover turkey is finally gone, maybe there’s space in the fridge for some fish fillets.
And, while we’ve seen a drop in water temps and some gusty winds, we should still be able to catch some fish to being home for dinner.
This week I decided to change tactics due to the cooler water temps. Actually, what I did was change baits — from shiners to shrimp. This week marks the first time I’ve used shrimp since January and, to tell you the truth, it wasn’t a bad transition.
By dock fishing with live shrimp on a knocker rig, my clients are reeling up a variety of species. Redfish are readily taking shrimp when cast directly underneath the dock. Mixed in with the reds are flounder, jack crevalle and numerous juvenile mangrove snapper. We’re also catching our share of black drum and sheepshead as we explore the numerous docks and piers in the area.
Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is resulting in mangrove snapper and flounder, although keep in mind that when using shrimp you also attract many throwback fish — spottail pinfish, small jack crevalle and small Key West grunts.
Finally, jigging the flats for spotted seatrout is proving productive, although a lot of the trout coming to the hook are undersized. By using a red jig head with a DOA Cal soft plastic, we’re experiencing trout on just about every cast. Keepers are mixed in, but expect to catch 10 shorties for every keeper you put in the cooler.
On a final note, the recreational snook season closed Dec. 1 in all waters and will remain closed for harvest until Feb. 29, 2016.