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Intracoastal Reds by Chester Moore, Jr.
Don't overlook this fantastic winter strategy!
Where should you look for the best redfish action this month? Warm water outfall canals? Jetties? Shallow, back bays?
All of these areas can produce redfish action, but in reality, anglers are ignoring one of the best spots to intercept winter reds: the Intracoastal Waterway.
Used more as a roadway than a fishing destination in many locales, the Intracoastal Waterway is full of fish-drawing structure, baitfish and offers more stable water temperatures than bays do.
The key is to use tactics chiefly reserved for offshore and even freshwater to score on these coldwater reds...

East Galveston Fiesta by Robert Sloan
Patience rewards big trout seekers.
East Galveston Bay is among the most user friendly bays along the entire Texas coast for three very important reasons - there are plenty of big trout, finding the prime spots is easy and you can either wade of float your way to a big catch.
Over the years East Galveston Bay has proven itself to be a big trout producer during the winter months. That's remarkable seeing as how this bay gets so much angling pressure. It's within easy reach of Houston anglers that are well aware of the trophy trout potential of East Bay.
Jim West, with Bolivar Guide Service, has been putting anglers on big trout for over 30 years on East Bay.
"There is no doubt that this bay is special," says West. "Even though it gets a ton of fishing pressure, she keeps on producing big trout... One reason why is that so many anglers on this bay are into catch and release. There is no need to kill the big females. You can take a length and girth measurement and have a fiberglass replica made that looks great and last's a lot longer than a traditional skin mount."

Pro Tips for Winter Reds - by Capt. Fred Everson
A whole new level in stalking reds.
Many Tampa Bay anglers regard late August through October as prime time for redfish, and in terms of fishing for numbers with live bait, that's probably true. But once the water temperature in the bay drops below 70 degrees as it usually does in November, water clarity improves dramatically. Gone are many of the weeds and most of the algae that cloud the water and make fishing with an exposed hook all but impossible in the summer months. This presents a great opportunity to sight fish with a wider variety of artificials than is possible in warmer water. And while the schools of big bull redfish have moved offshore to spawn, good numbers of big fish still winter on the flats.
Redfish that remain on the flats in cooler weather have been hard pressed by anglers as soon as they were big enough to take a bait or lure. This pressure makes redfish here as wary as any bonefish, and my cold water angling approach is similar to the way they fish for bonefish or permit in the Keys. This is about stalking within casting range and making a perfect presentation to spooky fish. The level of skill involved is considerable, and every fish hooked and landed is special -- this is not about fishing for numbers, it's fishing on a higher level...
Advanced Pier Techniques - by Pete Cooper, Jr.
Get the low down on cold weather pier fishing.
Throughout much of my adult life piers have contributed greatly to the net worth of my freezer's contents during winter. Until quite recently, though, those assets were almost always acquired after dark and from specks. However, last winter some market studies (i.e. fishing trips) resulted in previously unrealized profits in (A) the sources of the aforementioned assets (i.e. fillets), (B) the time in which the sources of said assets were most profitably traded (i.e. caught), and the practices (i.e. patterns) that were involved in gaining those profits.
And I avow that if someone ever accuses you of utilizing insider information by applying the following data to your trading in this market, those accusations will be coming from someone who wasn't paying any attention to this!
I wouldn't say it all began on that raw Christmas Eve afternoon, 2004, but the day's miserable weather played an important part of it ­ thick clouds spitting sleet, 37 degrees, and a rather brisk 15-knot northerly with conditions forecast to deteriorate. On a whim ­ perhaps just to see if I still "had it" ­ I bundled up, unlimbered a casting rod, and armed with a small box of light jigs drove over to a nearby marina...

Gulf Coast Closeup -
"Fishing Florida's Forgotten Coast" - by Vernon Summerlin
Once upon a time, the Gulf coast community of Apalachicola and its neighbors were accidentally left off a map given to tourists visiting Florida. Capitalizing on the mistake, the " Forgotten Coast" was born. The funny thing is the name actually fits Apalachicola with its handsome Victorian homes, bed and breakfasts, and oystermen harvesting the shellfish off the bay floor with long-handled tongs in a time-honored tradition.
Located about midway between Panama City and Tallahassee, Apalachicola is a must see for those who enjoy Florida history, fishing, bird watching, shell collecting or visiting wildlife and estuarine reserves. There are also miles of sandy beaches, uninhabited islands, and historic sites to explore.
This is one of Florida's last big, healthy coastal ecosystems. The connection between the Apalachicola Bay and the rivers that feed it 16 billion gallons of water a day creates one of the best fishing environments in the United States with miles of shallow bays and meandering rivers.
Equipment Notebook - "Fuel System Maintenance" - by David Ayers
Rod & Reel'n Offshore - "Surgeon Loops 101" - by Patrick Lemire
The Bay Naturalist - "Saltwater Escargot" - by John Hook
Tackle Time - "Spin vs. Cast" - by Colby Sorrells
Bait Hook - "Hindsight is Always 20/20" - by Jim Martin
From the Publisher...
Besides all these great articles and departments, Gulf Coast Fisherman is the only source for the Wells Daily Fishing Forecast. Each issue carries three months of the Wells Daily Fishing Forecast - with Monthly Fishing Calendars. This will provide what you need to intelligently plan your fishing trips - hours, weeks, and months in advance!
Top saltwater guides and fishermen use the Wells Daily Fishing Forecast - shouldn't you be using it ,too?...
"The fisherman that knows what the currents are doing has the advantage - over fish and fishermen!"
And remember - "Fish feed everyday, somewhere " - Harold Wells
Gary Ralston