Fishing North winds and fronts

October 27, 2016 by Jim Conant

Trip Info

The Catch
Snapper (Mangrove)
Spotted Seatrout

Fishing North winds and fronts
I was out fishing with a friend yesterday as the first real cold front really blew through SW Florida. Fishing was tough and I knew it would be but, it was the only time me and a good Army friend (Jay) could get together on his new boat, which handled the big Pine island sound waves like a champ. Just like when I’m guiding I can’t pick and choose the dates my clients want to go out, as that is the date they can go. So I have to make the best of a bad situation. I don’t like fishing a N/ NE wind over 10mph for several reasons but in the fall and winter months that’s all you have so learn to fish it. First, it changes the regular tide as it delays the incoming and pushes the outgoing faster. Second, a northerly wind changes the water temperature overnight. And third it is normally a high pressure system that sets in place driving the wind and fish don’t like a rising barometer. As most people who know me, I fish with live and cut bait and rarely throw lures for two reasons, 1st, My broken old body cant cast 1000 times a day and be able to function the next. Back in my younger years I was a lure throwing fanatic but the military life I lived for over 22 years beat my body up. 2nd, live and cut bait hook ups will outnumber artificial fishing until you get into an eating frenzy, then bait might get out fished only due to having to rebait.

This is how I fish on these kind of days. I catch BAIT. Pinfish, greenbacks or whatever legal bait gets in my net. By doing this you know what is available and as inshore fisherman would say “match the hatch”. Now I’m ready to fish, I will start out in one –three known good spots and if they’re not biting I will continually move. Once I have done that without much luck I will fish the wind driven side of islands and shoreline, you may get beat up a little by a strong wind and waves but it is a must to check out. Then if needed to move I start the other calmer sides. Now this is done when I don’t have the luxury of picking the times I want to be out fishing on the same kind of day. I still catch fish in rough conditions but I know if I can wait several hours on this cold windy day and catch the water temp raising by a couple degrees the success dramatically increases. A 3-5 degree water temp increase is perfect when fishing the flats on cold blustery days, Florida standards a freezing 65-70 morning. I forgot to mention I am targeting Snook and Reds with this information. Now if I’m getting bites but no hookups I will decrease my bait size and possibly hook size. On these same kind of days I’m not going to waste my client’s time waiting for conditions to improve and instead I will target the easy species of snapper, trout and sheepies using the smaller bait. If I do target these I will buy shrimp in the morning before heading out. For my clients that want to eat fish on a tough day we will target them first and hope conditions improve for the bigger fish.

With this information I hope it will improve your fishing success rates. One last word of advice is once you have found a good fishing spot, don’t over fish it! This will change the pattern of the fish you want to catch when there is a boat parked on it daily even when you’re not there. TIGHT LINES to ALL!!

If you’re ready to go fishing give me a call to plan your trip so we can try and catch the tides right. If you’re a Veteran with proof I have the best prices around and I guarantee it.

Captain Jim

Book your trip with Jimbo’s Charters

Jimbo’s Charters

Jimbo’s Charters runs trips of various lengths in the along Florida’s southwest coast. Captain Jim Conant can launch his boat from one of several locations depending on your preference and where the best fish have been biting, and can take you