Fishing during the month of January in South Florida can really vary when talking about inshore flats fishing. It always depends on what the weather is doing. One day it can be over 80 degrees with clear blue skies and the next it can be 60 degrees and blowing 25 knots. If you want to catch fish consistently the best bet for this month is be open for anything. Don’t just say you want to go catch a Tarpon just because you saw it on television and it looked like fun and easy. Believe me most television shows take 1-3 days of fishing all day to get that 30 minute show. The better approach would be to trust your captain’s expertise. If the weather is good we always love to chase Bonefish, Permit, and Tarpon up on the flats sightfishing on fly or spin. But if the weather is less than what we would want (Windy or Cold) the better option may be to try Redfish, Snook, Barracuda’s, and Sharks.
This January I have spend quite a bit of time fishing in the backcountry of Everglades National Park. The bite has remained pretty consistent with catches of Redfish, Sheepshead, Snapper, Jacks, and Ladyfish with a few Snook mixed in there each day. Most of the time we’ve been using light tackle spinning rods and live shrimp casting at mangrove edges and shorelines. On the warmer days I’ve had some success at finding Tarpon 30-90 LBS in the early mornings till about 9 AM. The Rapala X-Rap and Twitchin’ Rap have been the ticket to getting the bite working it with a slow twitching action. We’ve also been catching quite a bit of Trout all winter this year which is a great sign that the numbers seem to be climbing each year. Normally, I like to use a Rapala Subwalk for these toothy guys with a walking the dog just below the surface retrieve.
Good Weather Days = Good Bonefishing, A Few Permit Mixed In, Tarpon when it’s hot and calm, Hot Redfishing Action
Poor Weather Days= In The Keys we try Barracuda’s on Plugs, Big Jack Crevailles on Plugs, Then use them for Shark Bait on the flats. If fishing in the Everglades Redfish & Trout can be great along with Sheepshead and Snapper