After a warm consistent December, we are now in a typical winter fishing pattern with cold fronts blowin’ through every week or so. Fronts can change the fishing somewhat and make it challenging but can give us good action with a variety of species.
After the cold fronts go through our weather cools, tides get lower and we target more winter time species such as trout and pompano. A few days after the front our weather warms and we may go back to throwin’ the cast net, collecting pilchards and pursue snook, redfish and other saltwater species.
We also tend to move around this time of year as we look for fish, action and different species. We can be deep in the mangrove backcountry looking for snook and redfish, we might be near the passes or adjacent points and sloughs jigging for pompano and grout or we could be off the beach looking for bonita, sharks or snook along the beaches if the conditions allow.
Going forward another fairly strong front will go through tomorrow with rain and winds forecast 20-28mph with gusts up to 34mph and shifting from south to west to north over the next couple days. This cold front coinciding with a full moon on Monday will give us very low tides in the morning. Every time we have a full or new moon we have low tides in the early morning and early evenings. The morning low is always the lowest of the two and when we have a cold front go through the wind blows from the north and blows the water out. This is good and bad. On one hand the ultra low tide can concentrate the fish, especially the trout and pompano and make them easy targets in the deeper troughs and channels, on the other hand the tide will never come up that much so shoreline fishing for snook and reds can be tough. Looks like another root will go through late this week.
Check out the 10 day forecast here.
We’re coming into peak season with lots of people coming to town the next few months so try to book ahead. Also, still have openings for tarpon season this coming May & June.
Here’s some biology info on black tip sharks which have been so prevalent the last few weeks.
There are two stocks of blacktip shark: Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic. According to the most recent stock assessments:
The Gulf of Mexico stock is not overfished and not subject to overfishing.
The Atlantic stock is not overfished and not subject to overfishing.
Atlantic blacktip sharks are gray to gray-brown, with white on the belly and a conspicuous wedge-shaped band or Z-shaped line on the sides.
Their pectoral, dorsal, and tail fins have black tips, but the anal fin is white.
Their bodies have a torpedo shape, which allows them to swim through the water with little effort.
Atlantic blacktip sharks are often confused with spinner sharks due to their similar size, shape, coloration, and behavior. Both species are known for leaping and spinning out of the water while feeding on schools of fish. A distinguishing feature is that the anal fin on the blacktip shark is white whereas the anal fin of the spinner shark has a black tip.
Atlantic blacktip sharks grow quickly, and can reach up to 6 feet in length. The oldest observed blacktip shark was 15.5 years old.
They often form large groups, segregated into separate schools of males and females when they are not mating. They mate between March and June.
Males mature at 4 to 5 years of age, while females mature later, at 6 to 7 years of age.
Females have an 11- to 12-month gestation period and give birth to an average of three pups per litter in the Atlantic and four to five pups per litter in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pups are born in shallow nursery grounds away from the adult population. After giving birth, the females leave the nursery area while juveniles remain.
Blacktip sharks eat bony fishes, smaller sharks, squids, stingrays, shrimp, and crabs. They often follow fishing boats and are sometimes seen consuming discarded fish.
Where They Live
Atlantic blacktip sharks can be found year-round in the Gulf of Mexico and are common from Virginia through Florida.
They have been known to migrate as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Backtip biology courtesy NAOO Fisheries.