by Capt. Josh Fritz
The fishing here along the Adventure Coast is great. We have a very good trout bite right now in one to four feet of water. As that cold front passes next week look for the trout to move further back into the muddy bays, rocky shore lines and around springs. The trout are hitting best on jigs and mirrodines 17mr in the 808 and 50 color; they are holding close to the bottom to stay warm. The jigs I like to use are a white zoom fluke or a white ice zoom fluke on a 1/8 oz strike king jig head. Throw out the jig and pop the rod tip upward while reeling the line back in at a slow speed. The trout will hit the jig as it falls back down from popping the rod tip so keep a tight line. The trout are very big at 17 to 28 inches and fat.
Red fish are taking second place. Look for the reds in the same areas I mentioned for trout. Cut mullet or live pin fish are the baits of choice. Look for mullet schools as a key sign that reds are close by. If you like to use lures, the Mirr O Dine 17MR in the 808 and 50 colors have been producing some nice reds. For a soft bait like gulf shrimp or a mirrolure little john rig with a 1/16 oz to 1/8 oz jig head casting into and around the mullet schools has been killing the reds; just work it at a slow speed and the reds will hit them. The size of the reds has been 18 to 27 inches.
Sheep’s Head and Black Drum are here and chewing as well. Targeting Sheep’s Head and Black Drum, you want to look for deep holes, rocky bottom and springs. These areas will hold an abundance of Sheep’s Head and Drum. Live shrimp is the best way to catch these guys. What I like to do is to pinch off the tail of the shrimp for scent and the hook size that works for me is a 1/10 circle hook. Take your shrimp and hook it through the tail. If you are fishing in a deep hole a small split shot for a weight would be a good idea. Make sure you always keep a tight line so you can tell the fish is biting. I like to use braided line on my outfits and you can tell every bite; 10 to 15 lb power pro is plenty. The offshore rock piles in eight to twelve feet are holding a lot of big Sheep’s Head. I like to use a 1/4 ounce egg sinker and a 1/10 hook as a knocker rig with a small shrimp. Cast close to the rocks and watch your line. I keep the bail open and as soon as the line starts coming off, flip over the bail and give it a hook set.