Cold Water Fresh Water Fishing In South Florida
It has been a crazy year for South Floridians! It finally starts to feel like Irma is becoming a part of the past (at least North of the Keys) but now a new problem is setting in - extremely devastating cold weather! This month has had more days in the 40s and 50s than the contrary, with even a pair of days hitting 39 degrees in the early morning in Miami.
"the Lake Ida chain as that system has a lot of deep water access where the peacocks can take refuge in"
As a result, the fishing has been much different from years past. The peacocks have been a bit lethargic to say the least, and in several areas there has been minor die offs. These peacocks can’t survive when the water temps hit 60 and at its very coldest it appears that the Miami Canals hit 62 degrees. We came close to a major die off but it looks like for now the fish were spared.
"All these fish are being caught on swimbait and flipping baits and make for a very fun and exciting style of fishing."
That’s not to say we aren’t catching peacocks right now though. I have been spending a lot of time this month in the Lake Ida chain as that system has a lot of deep water access where the peacocks can take refuge in. That isn’t to say there hasn’t been a lot of dead peacocks there, because there has, but there are plenty of areas where the fish are still alive and thriving. My last three peacock trips averaged about 25-30 peas a trip with the total right about 80 peacocks over the stretch up to 5 Lbs. All fish actually appeared to look very healthy and fought well. With warmer weather and water coming in, and I expect the peacocks to catch fire shortly.
Speaking of Lake Ida, the Clown Knife bite has been a hit or miss one due to the cold as well. I have tried for them 4 times this month and landed a clown on 3 trips, which is still pretty good, but no trips with multiple clowns landed. The best Clown Knife of the month so far has went to my good friend and longtime repeat client Peter Aikens, who nailed this beautiful 6 Lb clown late in the day.
Over in the Everglades, the bite has begun to catch fire. First it was only small bass as they shot into the canal systems out of the flats. I had a day with good friend Byron Fang (instagram: @Fang_Byron) where we caught 212 bass in about 7 hours of fishing. It was simply fish every cast for the entire day.
These last 5 or 6 days have seen the emergence of very large fish into the system. My last three trips have all yielded largemouth over 5 lbs with the biggest fish coming in at just over 7 Lbs. We are catching these fish on swimbaits throwing bullbuster braided fishing line from 40-65 lbs in green. I expect these next 4-6 weeks to be fantastic and am hoping to see a few 8-10+ lb fish make its way on board my boat. All these fish are being caught on swimbait and flipping baits and make for a very fun and exciting style of fishing.
That’s it for now! We are in a complete transitional period with all of our freshwater fish and these next few months are my favorite time of the year to be out here fishing. Thanks for tuning in!
Capt. Scott Rose
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