Fishing can be a challenge during the winter months for several reasons if you don’t understand the factors that play a role in catching fish.
During the Winter months the daily tides bring less water onto the flats forcing fish to move farther off the flats or farther into small creeks and bayous that may hold enough water flow and food for them to survive through the winter. Some of these creeks and bayous are not accessible by boat when the tide is low thus providing a safe haven for the fish. Most fish require 1-3 feet of water to live and feed in.
Cooler water temperatures are another big factor on why these fish move into these creeks and bayous. Fish are a lot like humans, they have a desired temp that they inhabit and like to feed in. Lower water temperatures slow down their digestion causing them to not feed as frequently or abundantly. A perfect example of this is the Florida native Snook species. This species migrates into these deeper waters because they are warmer and cannot inhabit cold waters. When the water drops to 60° or below they become dormant and when the water temp drops below 50° they begin to die.
In addition to the lower water levels and colder temperatures the environmental Barometric Pressure impacts the fishes feeding habits. During the winter time the barometric pressure frequently changes as cold fronts are pushed through causing a yoyo affect. This sometimes makes it a challenge to encourage the fish to eat, even though you can sometimes see them and throw a perfect bait directly in front of them, they just won’t eat.