Best Florida Fishing In January

David Lawrence
• Friday, 27 November, 2020
• 7 min read

As the Fishing Capital of the World, Florida is the envy of northern states because we enjoy the best fishing spots year-round and there's always something running. Here's a list of popular species, and a description of the best places and times of year, January through July, to intercept them.

lake south fishing okeechobee report january bass fish magazine mark coastalanglermag season
(Source: coastalanglermag.com)


The wrecks in Florida Bay are loaded with them, and you can reach them from the Keys or from Everglades National Park. There's also a legendary manta ray migration off the Treasure Coast that the fish follow in droves.

It's hard to troll a ballyhoo for a few hundred yards and not find a dolphin off the Keys this time of the year. Tarpon fever grips the state, especially in the Keys, Biscayne Bay and along the Treasure Coast.

Water clarity in the backcountry estuary environments is at a peak during the cooler months of the year, making it easier to locate sea trout on the grass flats near sandy potholes. One of the best rigs for winter trout fishing is a soft plastic shrimp lure on 15 to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader beneath a popping cork.

Target winter redfish along mangrove shorelines up in brackish spring-fed rivers, around bends or deep holes, where the water temperature tends to stay more constant following a cold front. You can use a soft plastic shrimp, or try the Ned rig, which is most commonly used for winter bass fishing, but works equally well for targeting redfish during the cooler months of the year.

Black drum can be targeted in bays or estuaries around rocks, deeper holes, and pilings as well as offshore around structure near mud, sand or she'll bottom. Found nearshore and offshore from central to south Florida triple tail are most often spotted around channel markers and crab trap buoys.

fishing siesta key sarasota snook forecast monthly florida january river charters manatee report
(Source: fishingsiestakey.com)

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Once hooked, these fish take immediately to the air, make long runs, and fight all the way to the stern.

But it’s also hard to beat Miami Beach and the Keys for epic sailfish action. Florida -strain large mount bass will try to spawn all year round on the new and full moon phases.

You can fish out of Belle Glade, Lewiston, Moore Haven, Lakeport, or Okeechobee with about equally good odds of landing a 10-pounder. I like to be a homebody the first month of spring, and stick to my home waters of the Indian River Lagoon.

The world record spotted sea trout, which weighed in over 17 pounds, was caught near Fort Pierce. But the Indian River Lagoon is about 130 miles long, and you can catch bunker trout from Titusville to Jupiter.

Most of the shook action takes place from Sebastian southward, although plenty of fish are caught in the northern end of the lagoon in years when we don’t get any freezes. Give Jodie Lynn Charters a call, and they’ll put you on fish for sure.

stuart fishing florida offshore report january forecast
(Source: coastalanglermag.com)

I would not feel like I’d lived that year if I had not pursued tarpon with a fly rod from the vantage of a flats' skiff in the shallows. But there are plenty of other ways to target the Silver King that accommodate all skill levels.

An exciting place to explore for anglers, here you’ll find a colorful variety of fish in the area, including bone fish, tarpon, and shook. Sitting south of Cedar Key is Seahorse Reef, a popular area for experienced Gulf Shore fishermen.

Covered with long and lush seagrass, Cedar Creek is considered one of the best launching points in the Big Bend area. Boasting an abundance of guides and ship captains for hire and a variety of other land and water-based attractions, Key West is an ideal destination to visit with the entire family.

A large fountain with a jumping sailfish sits in its town square, marking the centerpiece of the area’s 15 marinas ready to take out fishing and charter boat fleets. The fishing potential of this coastal village is abundant, as its untouched natural beauty is appealing to those looking for a peaceful on the water.

Spring is the most popular season for catching underwater treasures, as the seagrass grows wild in these months making it an ideal time to spot Redfish, speckled trout, and sleepyhead. With over 140 vessels that cater to anglers, you have the chance to catch grouper, amber jack, snapper, mackerel, sailfish, Yahoo, tuna and even a blue marlin in this emerald Gulf of Mexico waters.

fishing florida catfish spots january sunset airbreathing visitflorida
(Source: www.visitflorida.com)

Those looking for a more leisurely experience can cast a line off the pier, as this city pairs laid-back vibes with crystal clear beach areas. It’s also a great place to go fly and kayak fishing, and if you’re with the kids, you might want to check out the chance to hand-feed tarpon at nearby Robbie’s Marina only a few miles from the park.

Fly and spin angling might win you saltwater game fish, while reef fishing is ideal for reeling in snapper and grouper. With both resorts and campsites peppered around the lake, visitors can stay overnight, as the area has plenty of guides and charters to direct you to the best spots.

Here you’ll discover a city listed on the National Register of Historic Places and old fish houses that date back to the original families, where both shrimp and grouper are sold to local restaurants. For those who rather go stargazing and appreciate the outdoors, head to Anastasia State Park to find 139 full-facility campsites that sit alongside the Atlantic Ocean.

Less touristy than its South Florida counterparts, here visitors will find an underrated gem with crystal clear waters stemming from the Gulf of Mexico. The area is famous for spotting an array of colorful redfish, flounder, tarpon and sea trout, and if you venture further offshore, it’s not uncommon to see fishermen reeling in king mackerel, blue marlin, tuna, and cobra.

Located on the southwest coast of Florida facing the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota even has a handful of hotels that provide guides for hire. Catching shook, redfish, trout, grouper and Dorado is common, while the area’s offshore activities, from its vibrant arts scene to the stunning Siesta Key beach, are sure to keep the entire family entertained.

tampa fishing florida january december
(Source: shallowpointcharters.com)

Often referred to as “The Fishing Capital of the World,” here you will discover an abundance of freshwater and saltwater hotspots to keep your vacation itinerary full, from the emerald waters in the Panhandle all the way down to the Florida Keys. PLANNING A TRIP TO FLA IN LAST WEEK OF JANUARY.

I don't know of houses to rent down there but you could more than likely find a hotel in Kissimmee for too. I go every year the last week of January, but fish the lower end of the chain on Kissimmee.

Almost forgot, we stay at a place called Camp Mack. Whether you’re an experienced angler or if you want to try out bass fishing for the first time, Florida ’s beautiful freshwater Lake Kissimmee is one of the top destinations for fishermen from around the globe.

It’s Florida ’s third largest lake at a whopping 35,000 acres, and its more remote location means that it’s a haven for large mouth bass, pan fish, and much more. It even hosts the annual Florida Bass Federation Tour and the Bass master Classic events, and other fishing competitions.

Let’s begin by taking a look at what makes Lake Kissimmee bass fishing so popular. The lake is known for its slightly warmer water temperatures, which is one of the biggest reasons why it’s such a haven for bass.

fishing florida winter
(Source: www.joesnook.com)

Fishermen in search of large catches prefer to head out during the summer, as the combination of the heat and the warm water temperatures bring out some seriously huge fish. The light brings the fish much closer to the shallow sections of the water, making them much easier to catch.

The lake is home to countless bass, especially on the South end and even within the Kissimmee River. However, in spite of the large concentration of bass, the lake’s thick, heavy vegetation.

Common knot grass, maiden cane, and bulrush provide ideal hiding places for large groups of bass. When you head out on Lake Kissimmee Florida, don’t be surprised when you encounter areas that are completely inaccessible due to an overgrowth of vegetation.

We’ve already mentioned that the south end of Lake Kissimmee is a haven for bass. Keep your eye out for large concentrations of reeds or eel grass, as this is often where larger schools of bass spend their time.

Often, bass simply “lie in wait” for their next meal, which is a huge part of what makes them so easy to catch. If you notice the shiner consistently leaving/pulling away from one area, it’s a good indication there’s a large amount of bass nearby.

fishing okeechobee lake report south jan southend end
(Source: coastalanglermag.com)

In addition to bass, you can also expect to encounter crappie, pan fish, and shell crackers (also known as repair sunfish. On Lake Kissimmee, you can watch a school of bass fish fight furiously over your bait.

Keep in mind that you may need to leave your shiner bait in a single area for up to half an hour before you see any results. Keep in mind that bass swim with the current, which means that facing the wind ensures that they run into your bait before they discover your boat.

Always try to plan your fishing day for the time right before a larger storm front moves through. The pressure will encourage heightened activity, while the time directly after a storm makes them a bit more skittish.

If you’re looking to catch bigger fish over ten pounds, then we suggest you have a look at these tips from Field and Stream. The unofficial biggest Large mouth Bass caught on Lake Kissimmee weighed 19.20 lbs.

This fish was caught by Dave OCS, who manages Lake Rosalie Bait and Tackle, The second public boat ramp is located on the Northeastern side of the lake at 4900 Joe Over street Rd, Evansville, FL 34739.

fishing report january mid florida sebastian inlet offshore
(Source: www.surfguru.com)

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1 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grouper
2 www.fisheries.noaa.gov - https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/black-grouper