How To Catch Trout & Redfish In The Winter (Between Cold Fronts)


When the weather warms up a bit between cold fronts, the fish’s behavior changes.

Instead of hiding in the deep cuts for warmth, they invade the sun-warmed shallows to feed.

And this is a great opportunity for some fun fishing.

In the video below, I’ll show you how I caught lots of trout and a nice red using one lure and a simple approach.

And since the water is shallow and clear, the fish are extra spooky, so you’ll also learn the two things you need to do to approach them without scaring them off.

Check it out below!

How To Catch Fish After A Cold Front [VIDEO]

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Here’s the gear I was using:

The Best Lure For Shallow Water Winter Fishing

When these trout and reds come back onto the warm flats, they’re looking for easy meals like small baitfish or shrimp.

And the perfect lure to mimic both an injured baitfish or a fleeing shrimp is a jerk shad.

I like to use the Alabama Leprechaun rigged on an Owner TwistLock weighted hook.

Retrieve it slowly with a double twitch, then let it settle back down to the bottom.

These fish are cold and lethargic, but if a jerk shad is right in front of their face, they can’t say no.

And one last tip about retrieving your lure here…

Learn the difference between a tap and a thump.

A small tap means that a pinfish or pufferfish has tried unsuccessfully to eat your lure.

But a bigger thump means a trout or redfish has it in their mouth.

There will be lots of taps, but wait for the thump to set the hook because you don’t want to rip your lure out of the strike zone.

Where To Catch Trout & Redfish Between Cold Fronts

When you’re on the flats looking for these fish, you want to look for sandy potholes.

These will look like lighter patches among the darker seagrass.

The trout and redfish will be in and around them, waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey at the break between grass and sand.

So use a good pair of sunglasses to find these holes, then approach them slowly and quietly by drifting or with your trolling motor).

Stay as far away as you can, and make long casts past them, then slowly retrieve your lure through them.

A good rod and light braid will help you cast as far as possible.

As far as how deep to fish, I found fish both on the deeper edges of the flat, as well as the shallow areas closer to shore.

There were lots of smaller fish on the edges, and fewer big fish in the shallower parts.


If you want to catch trout and redfish in the winter between cold fronts, hit the shallow flats near deeper water.

They’ll be up there hunting for injured baitfish and shrimp, so using a jerk shad rigged on a weighted hook is a great way to catch them.

Look for the fish in sandy potholes, and make long casts to not spook them.

Have any questions about catching fish between fronts?

Let me know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who wants to catch more fish this winter, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Steven Free
2 years ago

Yea but like always here in northeast Florida Sandy potholes are pretty much non exsistant dark muddy bottoms with tons of oysters yes but clear Sandy bottoms with flowing seagrass a definate no so that plan is a no go!!!!

George Kustas
2 years ago

Another great video Luke. I’ve been fishing out of the Naples/Bonita Springs area, and I haven’t encountered waters like this (clear, grass flats). At least, I don’t think I have. I’ve tried using Google and Bing maps, but haven’t really been able to distinguish anything well enough to identify a true “grass flat”. Can you (or anyone else reading) point me to some locations in or near Estero Bay, Naples Bay, Big Hickory, etc.?

George Kustas
2 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Thanks Luke. I’m watching Tony’s video from Estero Bay here: Very helpful. My problem is that I’m a new boater and chicken to go too far out of the channel and get stuck. I use Freedom Boat Club and don’t have a trolling motor, power pole, or super low draft. I should probably buy a kayak. More exercise AND get into shallower water!

George Kustas
2 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Thanks so much Luke. No more excuses for me. I’ll go when I can go, and do what I can do.

Lisa Brown
2 years ago

Does water temp matter? I am in panhandle and I believe it’s a lot colder up here. We have some nice flats with pot holes but don’t know if the colder weather here makes a difference

2 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

I fish the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As of Saturday the surface temps are approx. 50 degrees. We are finding no fish less than 8-10 ft. deep and they are very sleepy.

Larry Taylor
2 years ago

What was your water temp?

Lee Myers
2 years ago

Awesome video man, living the dream! Quick question, do you prefer a medium heavy action rod for these conditions or do you tend towards more of a medium fast action rod since its a bit more finesse fishing? I have a decent quiver of medium fast action rods but have been waiting for yall to get restocked on the rods offered in the shop so I can diversify my setup with a MH rod, hopefully soon!

2 years ago

Nice job! Why did you chose that lure over slam shady or scented fluke? Do you think on that day that color made a difference?

Bob McEneaney
2 years ago

Why is it that salt water anglers don’t use a bow mounted foot controlled trolling motor like Bass fishermen do? Keeps your hands free so you can fish and move at the same time. Is it a dependability thing? Does salt water ruin the foot control? Seems like a foot control spot lock would be better.

2 years ago

Great stuff…what time of day were u fishing?? Tide ??

Justin Ward
2 years ago

Nice vid, Luke. Random question, do you have a preference on color of braided line? Different colors for differ water conditions or does it matter?

Rob S
2 years ago

Hey Luke, is the Bull Bay Salt Strong Custom rod you’re fishing in this video the one SS will be offering? If so, will the SS Bull Bay only have cork grips (i.e., no EVA grips)? Thanks.


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