Know when, where and how to find and target fish based on the prevailing conditions.
Story and Photography by Danno Wise
December is usually the first month that Texas inshore anglers see fish in a winter pattern. Usually, the first thing that often comes to mind when most fishermen think “winter pattern” is “deep water.” While it is true there will be a lot of fish found concentrated in deep water areas, there will also still be some shallow water options available in the year’s final month. Actually, as Texas winter weather is known to vary wildly, fish will be found at a variety of depths and in different locations throughout the month. Fishermen versatile enough to effectively fish from shallow to deep based on the prevailing conditions will have the most opportunity to be consistently successful.
When discussing winter fishing, it is still best to start with the obvious – most winter bay fishing is about fishing deep water. Deep holes, channels, and port areas are the best areas to target in most Texas bays, although some of the larger bays (think Galveston and Corpus Christi) have some good deep water structure such as platforms and reefs as well.
When fishing in deep water areas, it is imperative to determine what depth the fish are holding. Fish are sometimes found on the bottom, but not always. They are quite often suspended at some depth in the middle of the water column. One of the keys is to try to locate thermocline, which is a layer of warmer water that the fish will stay in to insulate themselves from the colder water temperatures.