Amberjack once again have been our go to the past week. After last weeks neap tide, they have become less finicky and will eat just about anything. I found that the best jig lately has been the “Shimano Butterfly Whirlijig” – it is a little wider than most jigs and has a bigger overall profile. It also better matches our bait selection for this area (pinfish, croakers, pig fish etc.) I noticed almost twice the hookups this week were on this wider style of jig over the longer, skinny vertical jigs (5-7 oz range.)
If you are on a budget, live shrimp is still AJ candy believe it or not. Fish them high and hold on. Yesterday we went through 5 dozen in just a couple of hours and almost each bait produced an AJ. The great thing about the winter shrimp, is that they are easy to keep alive and don’t cost an arm and a leg like the jigs. Getting our limit of AJ has been easy and fun – a certain crowd pleaser for someone that wants to go home with meat and sore arms. Even these juvie jacks (10-30 lb range) will put up a great fight on light tackle.
Winter Reds have moved into the Choctawhatchee bay in large schools. If you find the birds working, there are likely reds beneath. Troll a Stretch or cast a fluke swim bait and a hook up is almost guaranteed. Most are over slot but there are some keepers in the mix. Also, on the way in yesterday I saw several large schools on the beach. Find a sunny day and have all the fun you want!
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