New Year’s Fishing Plans

Notice the word resolution does not appear above. I hate those things. Too often we make them out of remorse for things we should not have done in the year past, or could have done better. Too much negativity.

I view the beginning of a new year as a grand time in a fisherman's life. I enjoyed a great year in 2015, lots of great days with family and friends, so my fishing plans for 2016 are made with great hope of even more good times on the water.

So what are your fishing plans?

January and February can be lumped together, the weather is so similar. If you traditionally do not fish often during winter you need to fix that. Speckled trout are at their heaviest of the whole year and this is a great time for chasing trophies. If trophy fishing does not excite you, then how's about a sunny afternoon two days after a norther when fish really put the feed bag on? If cold bothers you, leave the dock at noon.

March can be intimidating; it starts wintry and eventually turns spring-like. Fishing is great in March but gear up for the morning and evening chill. It is remarkable to me how longer hours of daylight and warming water temperatures breathe new life into coastal fisheries. You should plan for at least two long weekends on the water; I love the new moon and I'm learning to like the days leading into full moon.

April and May are another pair of twins–as far as fishing goes. If I were your physician I would prescribe a minimum of six or seven fishing days in each. It is good for the soul to be outdoors in springtime and you will live a longer and healthier life.

June, what a month! Not too hot and fishing is wide open. Offshore, nearshore, jetties, bays–take your pick. Kingfish begin showing up and tarpon are due any day. Bay fishing for trout, reds and flounder is next to dynamite and stretches of pleasant weather means you can hit the water without worry of northers or disturbances from the tropics. It is impossible to fish too many days in June.

July and August? Heat is a killer but the fishing is good if you have no plans for vacationing in cooler climes. Stiff upper lip and all that stuff; maybe wade neck deep.

September; for Heaven's sake do not even breathe the "H" word. I will admit to having spent many and planning to spend even more days in dove fields and gunning teal this year. I call it multi-tasking.

October is cooler and fish adopt new feeding patterns. Get on the water every day you can, use a sick day if necessary.

November and December are the prelude to the coming winter trophy trout season; need I say more?

The only things I failed to mention were kids, wives, and other loved ones. Make them part of every outing. Listen to your doctor and take your fishing meds. Happy New Year!