Water temperatures were cool hovering in the upper 50s and low 60s throughout the week. The late week warming trend will have minimal effect on water temperatures as yet another cold front is forecasted to clear the area by Monday.
Consistent cool water is the key to outstanding sheepshead fishing. Overall the winter has been mild and typical winter sheepshead fishing has been inconsistent. The cool water this week served as the catalyst in tightening up concentrations of the spawning porgies. However, expectations of consistent bites fell short due to neap tides of the first quarter moon.
Next week’s February full moon has traditionally been the best moon phase for producing jumbo spheephead. With the reinforcing cold front, some luck, and navigable winds, sheephead fishing will meet its full potential in the days ahead. Offshore rock piles, rip rap and artificial reefs will hold the largest fish. Employ a stiff rod, Carolina rig a 1/0 circle hook with 2-feet of 30lb fluorocarbon leader and use a whole shrimp for bait. Expect the bite to be less subtle than inshore sheephead, but the technique in just reeling is the same to set the hook.
Capt. Robert McCue can be reached through his website www.GiantTarpon.com or at (800) 833-0489.