Are you planning on doing some fishing during the winter months? There are plenty of great spots to put your line in, and even escape some of the winter chills while you are doing it!
Keep reading for some of the top spots for the best fishing in the US.
Located in the upper part of the Florida Keys, Islamorada is an angler’s dream. It’s a great place to escape the cold and enjoy the warmer weather that Florida has to offer during the winter months.
There is plenty of black grouper and mutton snapper that love to go for bottom baits. If you prefer using live baits you will be sure to catch some kingfish or Spanish mackerel. February is a great month for catching sailfish because they tend to hunt schooling ballyhoo that gathers over patch reefs and are typically in the shallow waters.
Swordfish and tarpon are popular for deepwater fishing especially if you plan on fishing near the Highway 1 area. You can also head to the mangroves in Florida Bay for some mangrove snapper. There are so many different types of fish around Islamorada that no matter what type of fishing you prefer you should have not only a good time but some great fishing.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is the perfect place to catch tuna once the weather starts to cool down for winter. The bluefin tuna will travel within a half-mile of shore to feast on the many different baitfish such as yellowfin and bigeye like to school there.
Striped bass also likes to winter in the Hatteras area and can be found around the nearshore shoals, inlets, and sloughs along the beach area. You can then follow them up into Pamlico Sound and through the Pamlico river where redfish can also be found. If you head up throughout the marshes you can expect black drum, sheepshead, and speckled trout for some great planet fishing.
During the winter months sailfish head to the warmer waters between Palm Beach and Fort Pierce looking for a bite to eat. Many anglers who fish here at that time can easily pull in large quantities of sailfish.
Dolphins love to swim along the Gulf Stream and their presence, along with kingfish, will have the smaller baitfish head closer to shore for protection. This is a great opportunity to fish along the shore and catch the bluefish who like to feed on these same baitfish.
If you head to the Intracoastal Waterway and into the St. Lucie and Loxahatchee river you can easily find snook and seatrout warming themselves in the shallow waters during the day or at night they will be gathering in the lights of different bridges and docks. Redfish are also known to frequent these structures or swimming in the grass flats of the Indian River.
If you head out to fish along Orange Beach in Alabama, keep an eye out on the birds feeding along the surface of the water. This is a great way to find the schools of redfish that like to gather in this area or at the mouth of Mobile Bay.
The smaller redfish and sheepshead can be found feeding around the base of oil rigs located in Mobile Bay and can be found foraging around old tree stumps and oysterbeds in Bon Secour Bay. You can sometimes find seatrout in this area or with redfish in the Fowl River looking for tasty shrimp.
South Padre Island, Texas lines up latitudinally with Miami and experiences the same type of warm weather. The fishing here is great during the winter months since the fish like to stay in the warmer ocean waters.
Speckled seatrout, redfish, and black drum like to spend time in the grass flats of Laguna Madre. On a clear day, you can expect some great opportunities for sight-fishing. During the warm winter periods, flounder and snook can be found spending time along the channels and in sand holes.
In South Texas, red snapper can only be caught within state waters, you will not be able to fish them in federal waters. To keep things simple, fish along the 17-mile stretch north of Mansfield jetties for your best chance of catching snapper and even some grouper.
Winter months will attract blackfin tuna, amberjack, black sea bass, and triggerfish to the reefs just a few hours outside of South Carolina’s capitol. Further inshore the redfish like to school together in the drainage creeks that head into the marshes where they can warm up in the mudflats and look for food in the grassy marsh. Seatrout can be found in these same creeks digging deep holes in the middle.
The jetties at Murrells and Stono Inlet are known for harboring lots of seatrout, redfish and black drum during the winter months, and the occasional sheepshead. These species tend to run on the larger size, reaching anywhere between 20 to 40 pounds, and you can also find bull redfish of this size in Dynamite Hole in the Charleston Harbor.
If you are looking for some great inshore fishing during the winter months, Chokoloskee has some of the best fishing in Florida. You will find plenty of snook, tarpon, gag grouper and redfish swimming along the creeks and mangrove islands.
On overcast days you can find linesiders inside deep holes trying to keep warm or out on the shallow mud bottoms during the sunnier days. Trout like to spend time together in holes similar to the ones the linesiders inhabit and can usually be found where creeks fork and in the mouth of tributaries.
These are just a handful of places for the best fishing in the US during the winter months, where are you excited to go?
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