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New Year Starts Off With Some Great Fishing!!!

2018 has come and gone and with that brought some great fishing and a very wet winter. It brought summer showers and kept us warm while everyone else across the United States got freezing weather and tons of snow. It’s reminding us why we live in Florida. It was a great year but as we enter 2019 we look forward to an even better year of fishing..

January is typically one of the coldest months of the year. This typically means a lot of cold windy days and not a ton of time on the water. This year seems to be on a warming trend as we see water temperatures way above normal. This means some great flats fishing for this month. Trout fishing has to be on top of the list especially when the water is on the mild side. When people mention Trout there are a number of ways that is successful but I can’t help but think artificials when I think Trout fishing in January. One of my favorite artificial baits when targeting Trout would have to be Z man minnowz or paddlerz soft plastic. Another favorite would be a Mirrolure Lil John bait. If you like throwing hard baits you can’t go wrong with the Mirrolure Mirrodine baits. I really like the white body redhead. This is also a great time to get out those topwater Mirrolures and get on the flats early.

Redfish are also a great fish to target for January. Targeting the creeks and Residential docks are great areas to find good numbers in Reds.As mentioned above soft plastics will also work awesome with reds. I love using a free lined live Shrimp tied to a Ohero Fluorocarbon line tied to a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook. If you are fishing deeper areas you might want to add  a split shot to keep your bait on the bottom. Reds love shrimp this time of year as they are a slow easy meal and are readily available and most bait shops are stocked with plenty of live shrimp.

Sheepshead are one of the most overlooked fish but are one of the best inshore fishing you will do through the cold months. Sheepshead typically has their spawn during the next 2 months and you can expect to catch a ton of nice 5 lb fish on a consistent basis. There are a number of ways to rig and catch Sheepshead and just about everyone I herd works but I like to keep it simple and easy. I like to use a #2 Daiichi circle hook and rig with a split shot halfway up the leader or if you are fishing deeper water a knocker rig with a shorter leader. Its simple but effective and I promise you once you start fishing for sheepshead you will have a hard time moving back to the flats. Tightlines!

Captain Jason Prieto is a native resident of Tampa and has fished Tampa Bay and its surrounding waters for the past 30 years. He is owner and operator of Steady Action Fishing Charters which is based out of lower Tampa Bay and has been operating since 2004. To book a charter, you can reach him at 813-727-9890 or If you would like to catch him on the radio tune into Tampa Fishing Outfitters Fishing Show every Weds night from 7 to 8 Pm.  Tight lines!!!!