Top 8 Florida Cold Weather Fishing Tips

Does Florida even have a winter season? The answer is yes. Lows in North Central Florida can dip into the 30s and 40s from November through March. The chilly mornings typically make way for warm afternoons with highs in the 60s and 70s. The fish in the St. Johns River adapt to the cooler weather, so we have the top eight Florida cold weather fishing tips to make your cold weather fishing experience a great one.

Stay dry and warm with rain gear when you’re fishing as cold fronts approach.

Search in Deep Holes and Shallow Flats

Water temperatures are the main factor when you are looking for fish. When you are cold water fishing, look for fish congregating in the warmer waters they can find. The warmest spots are in deep holes and shallow flats. Use a depth finder to find these deeper spots on the bottom of the river.

Follow the Flow

The current always triggers how fish feed. Currents can come from strong winter winds and tides. Fish like to swim on the down tide and the wind side of a point that has a current sweeping across it. Position yourself accordingly to catch fish in cooler weather.

Take Rain Gear

It is not very rainy in Florida during the winter but you should still bring along your rain gear. Water spray and wave action on the river brings more water than usual into the boat this time of year on the St. Johns River. Cold days make the water spray feel even colder so stay dry and warm with your rain gear.

Monitor the Cold Fronts

Passing cold fronts come one after the other in the winter season in Florida, bringing with them a day of stormy weather followed by at least two days of windy conditions. Once the front’s storm and windy weather subsides, the fish become very active. Take advantage of that calm and warmer weather by getting out on the water and catching some fish before the next cold front comes through.

depth finder on a boat
Use a depth finder to find spots on the bottom of the river where fish are hiding to stay warm.

Rising Barometers = Good Cold Weather Fishing

Barometers measure atmospheric pressure. A rising barometer means it’s time to grab a rod and get on the St. Johns River. When the barometer goes up and down (pressure increasing and decreasing over the course of a few hours), that’s also a great time to go fishing. When the barometer stays steady or decreases, fishing becomes poor.

Hint: find a good barometer app for your smartphone to keep tabs on the atmospheric pressure.

Increase the Scent of Your Bait

You need to give fish that don’t like cooler weather more incentive to be attracted to your bait in the winter. Clip the tails of your live bait, which puts additional scent in the water and increases the chances of your fish taking your bait.

cold weather fishing
When you are cold weather fishing, attract fish with fresh bait.

Move Your Location

Be willing to move your boat and change up your fishing spots to adapt to the windy conditions that cold fronts bring to the area. Sometimes moving the boat from a shallow shoreline to grass flats can yield great fishing results.

Book Your Fishing Visit

You are now ready to handle Florida’s cold fronts and become a cold weather fishing pro. Book a stay at Castaways on the River to do some fishing. The marina can handle all of your boat rental needs. We also offer cozy cottages and motel rooms that are just steps from the beautiful St. Johns River. Call Castaways on the River today at (352) 759-3442 to book your boat rental winter fishing trip today.