January is cold, but the fishing can be red hot. Especially for anglers that are targeting redfish in the shallows.
During the winter months, large schools of redfish congregate in water depths of 2 feet or less. Biologists tell me this is a protection mechanism against dolphin predation. It seems that in winter, redfish are a primary food source for dolphins. So, they are targets for anglers and dolphins as well.
When fishing for shallow water reds, water temperature is a critical factor to success. While the early bird always gets the worm, the early angler does not always get the redfish.
After a cold winter night, the water temperature on the flats is often just a few degrees warmer than the nighttime low. This makes the redfish cold, lethargic, and unwilling to eat. It is maddening to see dozens of fish milling about in the shallows completely ignoring your lure or bait. Early in the morning, the fish are simply too cold to eat. However, as the day progresses and the sun warms the shallows, the redfish begin to feed with gusto.
So, the weather plays a big part in my fishing plan each day. On cloudy mornings when the overnight temperatures are warm, redfish in the shallows are at the top of my list. On cold clear mornings that had freezing nighttime temperatures, I plan to target shallow water redfish a bit later in the day.
If you plan your fishing accordingly, the probability of red hot fishing in January increases tremendously.
Brody says “thank you” for all the get well wishes. His leg is getting better. I hope he recovers enough this week to help me find some shallow water redfish!
Department of Natural Resources January Report
Redfin Charters and Captain Rob Bennett report that January in Charleston is mostly about redfish and trout. In the clear conditions anglers should be able to locate big schools of redfish on low tide.
Some days they may be difficult to get to bite, but this can offer some of the most exciting and visual fishing of the year. There will also be some fish caught around docks.
As long as it does not get terribly cold, trout fishing should remain good this month along grass lines and in deep holes.
Live shrimp, as well as a variety of artificial lures, should catch fish.