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Winter Time Negative Tides Concentrate Fish

Stiff north winds and cold weather can be a help in locating fish around the Tampa Bay area. Winds from the North and East push water out on outgoing tides and prevent new water from coming in on incoming tides. Therefore on any given day, the water levels will be lower than what is normal for that particular tide cycle. This can be really helpful locating fish as the tides and water levels will eliminate a lot of areas for both anglers and the fish. There simply won't be any water there. There are a few ways to target fish on these extreme low tides that characterize our area. On nicer days (which seem like they can be rare in between winter cold fronts) Anglers can simply move to deeper parts of grass flats and continue to fish like they do for much of the year. However, with a little work, winter time fishing on a negative low can be a lot of fun.

Flats, creeks, and other areas that we target fish in will all have some deeper pockets of water in or around them. Moving around a flat on a low tide is a perfect time to find deeper holes that might concentrate fish when water levels are too low on a flat. Most times, fish concentrated in these deeper pockets will eat well with a good presentation. Dropoffs, edges, and potholes that are usually unseen are very visible on lows and clean water. Low tides in the winter provide a great time to go scount for new spots to fish. These areas hold fish all year, not just on the lower tides. You can mark these places to fish during other times of the year as underwater structure to fish bait, power fish lures, or find fish in summer time conditions with new and full moon tides.

The clean water also provides some of the best sight fishing of the year. Seeing a fish, presenting a bait to it, and watching it eat is the epitome of sight fishing. The hole process is visible and exciting. Fishing this time of year is also extremely technical, providing some of the most challenging fishing you can find anywhere in the country. Winter time redfish will show you holes in your angling game. If you can't put an accurate cast or present a bait well, you can find yourself having an extremely tough day.

Enjoy the challenge, enjoy the day, and enjoy the fishing.

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