Dock fishing can be a steady source of winter time action. All types of fish are drawn to the structure for protection, warmth and food source.
Shrimp are the best wintertime bait for docks and structure. As water temperature drops the metabolism of fish drops. They don’t move around as much, or as fast, to catch their food.
So white bait, normally the go to-bait, drops to second team, because it moves
too fast and it is hard to catch when the water starts cooling off. Medium size shrimp work fine and hooking them under the horn, but not through the black spot brain, with a light jig head is a dock favorite rig. A knocker rig, which is a circle hook with a light egg sinker resting on top of the hook, is also a popular set up.
Trout, redfish, snook, grouper, sheepshead, flounder and lots of bait stealers can be the expected catch around docks. Sid Frazier and family caught lots of trout drifting the Ft. Desoto flats with Capt. Billy Miller. The DOA Deadly Combination was a top producer using the glow shrimp below the clicking cork.
Mastry’s Tackle reports good red grouper fishing west of John’s Pass in 75-80 feet of water around the rocky ledges. A few Spanish mackerel were also caught by anglers trolling spoons in 14 feet of water of Blind Pass.
Trout fishing over the grass flats around the Frankland and Gandy bridges is still good, says Gandy Bait and Tackle. Anglers using pearl Gulp jig tails and baby bream Exude tails have been doing well later in the day when the tide comes up and the sun warms the water up some.
Sheepshead are not at the bridges thick yet, but anglers bouncing jigs around the jig pilings have been scoring well with nice flounder.
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