Sight fishing for fly and light tackle anglers is heating up as temperatures cool down. Cold fronts are now are coming through on a what seems like a weekly basis and the 3 nights we had in the 30’s really put the fish where they should be. During a sudden drop in temperature, fish will seek refuge in deeper water so they can acclimate at a slower rate. Typically, things start to stabilize when air temperatures start to exceed water temperatures. It seems that the only casualties were a few mullet, ladyfish, and mojarra. Coincidentally, it seems as if the redfish post freeze, were all 1/2 pound heavier from gorging on everything that died or was in the process.
Redfish have an incredible temperature tolerance and inhabit all of the Gulf of Mexico and all the way up to Massachusetts. The freeze we had slowed them down for a couple days but it didn’t take long before they started to show back up as if nothing happened. Small crab patterns in tan or black are a great winter time staple but with all the dead mojarra post front, anything white did the job. Fishing over limestone bottom can be a little daunting if using a weighted fly, so using small dahlberg on umpqua’s bendback hook has worked great over the past couple weeks. The big tides moon phases provide will have the fish in larger groups and look for them to thin out in spots the water congests off the moons.
Spotted sea trout have made a huge showing after the last snap. The water is crystal clear making long leaders a necessity and weightless flies are essential. Trout usually set up and travel in packs so when taking a shot, always play it safe rather than to the one you see, if you can.