Make the Most of Small Wintertime Windows

Make the Most of Small Wintertime Windows

Pre-frontal bite during winter can be nothing short of awesome. (Photo credit: Dom Sanchez)

How many times has it happened to you? After hours of fishing, struggling, changing baits, and changing tactics it finally happens. The fish finally decide to cooperate, and all is right with the world again. That brief period of euphoria wipes away all the memories of cold boring hours spent probing empty acres of water. It’s the opportunity we all search for yet only a few find on a consistent basis.

Those few fishermen who routinely find these brief periods where fish go on rampages that the average guy can only dream of reach mythical status quickly in the fishing community. The “underground” of the fishing world buzzes with the stories of these fishermen, exploits surrounding sessions when every cast was met with a bone-jarring strike circulate at the boat shows and each time the story is told the stringer always gets bigger. Every coastal angler dreams of fishing trips like these but most don’t understand what it takes to achieve these results.

If you ever get a chance to talk to the really good fishermen along the Texas coast you will find that most of them are very detail oriented and they keep some sort of records. The records consist of all the obvious things like tides, temps, and weather, along with bottom structure, available bait, and a few others. The records offer up valuable history that can help anglers find a consistent fish catching pattern.

During the winter months those fish catching patterns don’t last very long as the necessary factors tend to align themselves for brief periods, and that’s when memories are made. These small windows of opportunity are the key to being successful during the tough stretches in January and February because the windows in these months are the smallest of the year. Many anglers fish all day in hopes of finding fish while others make shorter trips based on the patterns from past years. Nine times out of ten, the guy with the known pattern on his side will catch more and bigger fish.

On Sabine and Calcasieu the patterns hold the same much like they do farther down the coast, warmer water on incoming tides late in the day are a favorite of many. The combination of these factors can be extraordinary, especially when you know you can count on the bite being consistent. The afternoon incoming pattern works well and is probably the favorite, but what happens when you don’t have these conditions?