January 2017 Fishing Report
This time of year, it’s all about the weather. When a cold front blows through, expect strong north winds, cold temperatures, occasional rain and slower fishing. But the time between fronts can offer some spectacular results. Sheepshead, black drum and redfish are the top targets this time of year at Merry Pier.
For sheepshead, nothing beats a live crab for bait. Mud crabs can be gathered at low tide from the rocks to the north of the Pier. Fiddler crabs are a good bet as well. Use a small hook and a light weight, and fish them immediately next to the dock pilings. Sheepshead are notorious bait stealers, so close attention should be paid to your rod tip – a slight movement may indicate a bite.
For drum and redfish, a lively jumbo shrimp fished under the pier, or in the empty boat slips will usually do the trick. Keep in mind that these are big, strong fish, sometimes topping 20 pounds, so tackle up accordingly. A 1/0 or 2/0 heavy hook, 30-40 pound fluorocarbon leader and a sturdy rod will give you the best chance of winning the battle. A landing net can make the difference between a caught fish and a lost one. Please keep in mind that there is a slot limit for both drum and redfish, so know the regulations before you take a fish for dinner.