Among the most difficult aspects of fishing in the winter months is dealing with the inconsistency in weather and water conditions. Air temperatures, wind direction, barometric pressure and water levels are subject to change on a daily basis, or at a moment’s notice. As frontal systems move through the area, temperatures can rise or fall 20-30 degrees and winds can quickly shift from zero to 25 miles per hour. In order to ensure angling success, be sure to keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly. It helps to be flexible and use what the day has given you as an advantage rather than an obstacle.
If sight fishing for redfish in the shallows is your thing, then you should try to plan your trips on the days after a front has passed through. Even though these tend to be cooler days with stiff northerly winds, the sky is usually clear and the sun helps tremendously when trying to spot fish on the flats. In addition, northerly winds are accompanied by lower than usual tides – making it easier to spot redfish tailing or making a subtle wake as they move around. Sight fishing the shallows requires stealth, patience and precision when presenting your lure. A lure that lands softly and can be worked effectively with little rod movement will pay off in a big way.
If you prefer to blind cast plugs and jigs or you like throwing surface baits, your best bet is to fish before the front has passed as conditions begin to diminish. I look for beaches with the wind blowing onto them and make long casts toward the shoreline. Bayous that have wind and water being pushed toward the back of them are fantastic places to find fish stacked up, especially late in the year when temperatures are cooler and fish are heading towards them anyway. Slow sinking and suspending lures work exceptionally well in these conditions as they sit in the strike zone for extended periods of time. Look for trout, redfish, flounder and (depending on the location) many other species of fish to be caught in the same areas.