St. Petersburg is in the middle of winter, but the inshore bite is as good as ever. Hitting the mangroves for snook, redfish in the grass, and even pompano on the flats – all happening, right now.
Wintertime Backcountry Snook
The biggest factor when targeting wintertime snook is water temps. This is a tropical species of inshore fish that enjoys its warm weather. While Florida winters are mild, water temps below 75 degrees will send these guys in search of more temperate waters.
So, knowing the water temp on a given day is the first priority. At the same time, this is not the end-all as water temps are provided as an average for the surface- known as SST (sea surface temperature) and does not represent deeper water or spring-fed water. Still, knowing the average surface temp will tell you where to go hunt for the species.
The biggest key is to follow what’s going on. Early and even into late Fall, redfish can be just as active and feeding on the same things as in summer. However, it’s temp changes that really need to be considered. In Florida, this can be sort of a wild card. Each year is different.
But, when the temps drop and baitfish move out, it will be time to “match the hatch”, so to speak.
Switching to shrimp and crab, redfish are in the zone to eat what is easiest to find. Whether fishing with bait or lures your approach must match all that is going on.
Pompano arrive in the winter and hangs around until spring. But the actual trigger dates can vary year to year. This will all boil down to temps. Basically, after there have been the first few cold fronts in St. Pete- pompano begin to show up. On the other end of the season, usually until April, they begin to fade from the area as temps increase.
Fish With Us
With over twenty years of experience fishing for Fall reds in St. Pete, Captain Kevin here at Non-Stop Fishing Charters is your go-to fishing guide in the area. Every fall he looks forward to the exceptional fishing in the area and will gladly bring you along for an epic fishing journey.