“Catching Winter Convicts”
Winter is here and with it comes a cornucopia of inshore gamefish. Whether you’re looking for some drag screaming Snook and Redfish, or some fine eating Flounder and Sheepshead, the next few months will give you plenty of opportunities. Once the water temps get into the seventies a natural predatory instinct will fire up in all fish to get food while they can before it becomes scarce in the colder months. A sure bet to getting these fish on the end of your line is to live bait chum a productive area. To do this you will need a lot of small pilchards in your bait well, I suggest at least a hundred baits per person. Then you need to find a productive area like a large pothole on a flat or a point of an oyster bar or mangrove shoreline. Anchor up within casting range and start tossing unhooked live baits in the area of the structure (about 6-10 at a time every couple of minutes). Now this can wear your arm out so there are a couple of tools to make it easier on your arm and elbow.
One is a whiffle ball bat with the top cut off at an angle to help you sling the chum out further. The other is a modified sling shot that can be messy but will launch chum the furthest of any product I’ve seen yet. Now once you have thrown a few dozen chummers into the area watch and listen for signs of bigger fish eating on them. After the first sign free line or float a hooked bait back to where the action is and be ready. The sound of other fish feeding will bring out the larger more curious fish who don’t want to miss out on the feeding frenzy. This technique will help bring the fish to you and save you the time and energy of searching large areas for scattered fish.
As always be safe and let someone know your fishing plan and the area which your fishing. Winter is also the time of year for big weather too. Watch out for dense fog or storm fronts coming in from the north and don’t risk it, there are too many nice days a year and one bad experience can shake somebody for life.
Be safe and Happy Holidays,
Update: Ed Fernandez dropped a comment (see below) alerting us about “The Chummer”. Looks like the real deal. Here’s the website.