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Tips for Inshore Fishing in the Winter

Updated: Jan 3


If fishing is your passion or just a hobby, winter fishing along the coastal waters of Alabama promises the thrill of the chase. Water temperatures along the Gulf Coast are the coldest from late December until early February. It’s this time of year and the cold water that draws a bounty of fish out from along Alabama’s many creeks and rivers into the tributary systems of the Alabama bayous.

But be sure to dress warmly for the cold outdoors and wintry gusts. The fishing is definitely worth it. Here are a few things you should know and some tips to help you catch your share of sea trout and redfish weighing two or more pounds.

Inshore Fishing Conditions

Thanks to mother nature, fish in this region migrate in December and January from the creeks and rivers into the colder waters in the Alabama coastline. The fish move in large numbers, and then stop to rest in large schools just waiting for you to drop in a line. Board one of the fishing charters Orange Beach, AL, for inshore fishing to take advantage of this time. If you are unfamiliar with the term, inshore fishing is fishing from a boat in the shallow saltwater bays in the Gulf Coast.

The waters off the Alabama coastline are shallow, ranging from only 2 feet up to 20 feet deep. If you can find a narrow channel in the bayou, and the water is clear, you’ll see a constant stream of fish passing through. Another good spot where sea trout and redfish congregate is along the ledges at low tide. As the tide falls, the fish naturally move along the drop of the ledges. As the tide rises, the fish move to the top of the ledges. Another popular spot for fish in coastal waters is along the hard surfaces of the shell bottoms. Often oysters and clams cling to rocky areas, which attract all types of winter fish.

Knowing things like this is where fishing with an inshore fishing guide pays off. They have fished these waters for years and know where the large schools of fish are likely to be hanging out waiting for your bait.

Best Baits

Due to the lack of food supply given the overabundance of fish, baiting winter fish is not hard. If the water temperatures are around 50 degrees, it is best to bump the bait with plastic jigs along the bottom surfaces of the channels. But in warmer water temperatures later in the day, as the big fish move up towards the warmth of the surface, swimbait or jerkbait will attract these fish. Swimbait is a lure designed to mimic the movements of smaller fish. Jerkbait is both a hard or soft plastic lure.

Learn from the Best

If you want to get into inshore fishing, it is well worth the investment to go on a private inshore charter. In a few hours, you can learn lots of valuable lessons from the seasoned fishing guides that would take you several years to learn on your own. On the charter, everything you need is provided from the rods and reels to the right tackle. They will even clean and package the fish you catch so you can go home and prepare a great meal.

Be Prepared for Cold Weather

When inshore fishing during the winter, wear layered clothing with a waterproof outer layer. Gloves and a hat are imperative. And hand and feet warmers are a good idea. Being around the water and wind will make the air feel much colder than the air temperature. By being prepared for the cold and going along with an experienced fishing guide through one of the private inshore charters, you’ll have a great fishing experience.

To learn more tips for winter inshore fishing in the coastal waters of Alabama, call Liquid Force Inshore Charters at 251-233-5731.

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