If You Cant Stand the Cold
Get Out Of The Freezer!
If you really want to know the truth the hot spot for the next several months will be your living room. With a nice fire going in the fireplace, the television tuned to a playoff game and a cold brew and turkey sandwich in both hands. For those die-hard anglers out there (refer: to Article of the Month) there is still hope for you. I can only imagine you must be either very hungry, have a death wish, or just plain crazy to want to get out there in sub freezing conditions to catch fish. These are some of my rules of thumb to know when its too cold to fish is when you more concerned about your line freezing to the spool than backlashes, and ice is not the first thing on the list at the local bait shop, then its too cold. If you wake up for a nice relaxing day on the water and you go to the dresser first to get the thermal instead of the closet for the reels, then its too cold. If instead of packing the icebox with a couple of case of your favorite cold beverages, you fill up several thermoses with your favorite hot toddies, then its too cold. If before you leave the house you top off the trucks radiator with antifreeze instead of the boat oil injector with a few quarts of oil, then its too cold.
Though this is not always the case of winter fishing in Texas, especially with are screwy weather. Sometimes during what is thought to be typical winter we experience a day or two of semi-fall fronts during the height of the winter season. Unfortunately these will usually arrive typically right after a holiday or the begin of the workweek when its near impossible to get off. This holds especially true for those anglers that use up their allotment of sick day during the spawning season. During these hit and miss days of winter and the beginning of a new year one must be quite sure of a day of catching fish before wasting a perfectly good excused absence from work. Besides its is always best to take this time of year to build up that much needed base of trust and credit with you new or former employer. To start the New Year off right and get those Christmas bills paid off for the next couple of months until the spring spawns begin to happen.
For those bound and determine a.k Die Hards then there is hope. Not only to the extreme conditions concentrate those angler braving the conditions say next to some obscurer windbreak. It also has a tendency to concentrate the fish population along deep drop-offs and pockets of deeper water where the temperatures are a few degrees warmer. With the help of a good depth finder and a little knowledge, anglers should not have much trouble in finding these winter hot spots. Or if all else fails instead of looking for the feeding birds as in summer and spring fishing, looking for the feeding boats over these hot spots. Other areas to check out during the winter season are the protected Northern Shorelines. When or if the sun does decide to show itself these shallow waters when heat up a few precious degree and will allow those fish that are near starving to try and get a quick meal before retreating to their winter hideouts. This also affords those anglers a few degree of warmer temperature during those teeth chattering fishing days, believe me during those crazy days of winter fishing any break from the wind and cold is a godsend.
Those anglers still not satisfied suggestions or with major sadistic tendencies can try the offshore angle of wintertime angling. Snapper fishing is still good during these colder months along with some nice redfish and other species action. Remember to dress warm and look for a boat with protection from the elements say something in the forty to fifty foot class with a wet bar and fireplace for those long ride to and from the fishing holes.
So those anglers so inclined can still wet a hook during these next few months. And with a little effort and some luck should be able to bring home some respectable stringers for braving the conditions. Just remember that should always be the case just keep what you need and release the rest. Only this time you wont be saving them for me to catch when I finally make it out. I have learned my lesson over the years, when the mood strikes me for a nice plate of grilled snapper swimming in cheese sauce during the colder months of the year. Then thats the time to turn the boob tube off and head off to the nearest Pappasitos, where snapper is the catch of the day, and they always have the game on. Not to mention the fact that the temperatures are always a nice 72 degrees and the Margaritas are always frozen. I know you true Die Hards out there may call me a Woosey but I call myself content! As the old saying goes sticks and stones may break my bones, but a plate full of snapper and a margarita on the table can never hurt me. Stay warm cause I will!!!