Is it too windy to go fishing? I get asked that question a lot. This last weekend was the first big cold front to come through the Keys this fall. It was blowing 25 to 35mph and the temperature went from a balmy 82 degrees to 59 degrees overnight. Yikes!!! All the books I read say - don't even bother fishing today! Well - I say - you don't know until you go!!
We slayed the fish this weekend - over 50 redfish on Saturday, several black drum, some nice mangrove snapper and a few good trout. O.K. this was just the first day of the cold front. The water temperature had only come down about 8 degrees. Sunday will be the real test. The weather was just as bad or worse on Sunday. Still blowing, just as cold and the water temperature was down another 8-10 degrees. We murdered 'em on Sunday. We caught over 30 redfish - several fish in the 4 to 6 pound range. We landed 15 to 20 black drum from 3 to 10 pounds, several big mangrove snapper up to 3 pounds, sheepshead from 2 to 5 pounds and 3 beautiful snook from 4-7 pounds!! Monday the fishing was red hot too. On a half day trip we boated several snook up to 7 pounds, 2 sheepshead in the 5 pound range, about 20 reds and several nice mangrove snapper. Wow! I sure wouldn't want to be the guy who didn't want to go fishing because it was too windy and cold.
In general, when it is windy and cold the fishing can be tough. But in our area, the Florida Bay, the first big cold front of the Fall can mean great fishing. The wind blows strong out of the north and that pushes a large portion of the water out of the Florida Bay. Many of the flats are bone dry (no water) - that pushes all the fish that were previously swimming the flats into the deeper water holes. It concentrates the fish. So, if you can find the hole that these fish have gather in - you can find some great fishing. Another key element during a cold front is the shrimp run. So, we have no water on the flats, fish concentrated in the deep pockets and shrimp running off the flats into the deep pockets - this can equal some of the best fishing you will see all year. Don't let the weather get you turned off fishing. There's only 2 kinds of weather - whether you go fishing or whether you don't.