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Fishing Lines: Stave off winter 'til spring arrives

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By Capt. Dennis Voyles

Is this October or December?

The sun sets like it is December, but the daytime highs feel much more like fall than midwinter.

And it seems as though the fish are confused as well. Normally by this time, the trout and redfish have become well established in the area rivers and deeper tidal creeks, but many trout are still out front on the edge of the flats as if it were march already.

My guess is that the next cold front (which has not been forecast at this writing) will be the "coupe de grace" that finally persuades them to head for their usual winter haunts.

The redfish are still holding their October pattern but not in the numbers that they had a few months ago. Many reds have settled into their winter locations, likely driven more by length of daylight than water temps. My temperature gauge has the inshore water at between 61 and 66. Pretty close to the last half of October.

The even better news is that soon - Dec. 24 - the days will actually start getting longer again. That does not mean that winter is over by any means, but it is a glimmer of hope for those of us who do not fully appreciate winter inshore fishing.

Personally, I do not like to fish wearing three shirts and a jacket. I prefer the 80s and 90s.

Offshore fishing continues to impress the grouper enthusiasts. It seems that not only are the numbers excellent but the size of the fish is impressive.

We have had a string of calm days, and hope for the sake of the offshore types that it continues.

Good luck everyone and Happy Holidays.