Have you ever walked the beach at sunrise?
About a week ago, I was fishing on Juno Beach at 6:30 a.m. and bumped into a woman walking her dog. We shared pleasantries and struck up a conversation about the ensuing sunrise. We both agreed that anyone who does not experience daybreak, at least once a week, is truly missing out on one of the best things in life.
My personal ritual at sunrise usually involves a moment of silence, deep breaths and unbelievable anticipation about the day to come. Experience it for yourself sometime this week. With sunrise after 7 a.m. it is the most convenient time of year to enjoy one of nature's true wonders.
Due to sketchy reports, it may be a week where you have to play the weather by ear. The preliminary forecast has the wind and seas subsiding by Friday, but that is heavily dependent on several low- pressure systems moving at consistent speeds.
My advice: plan your trip offshore two days ahead of time and monitor NOAA for up to the minute weather forecasts. Once you get out there, it is a great time for the sailfish enthusiast. The Silver Sailfish Derby in Palm Beach released 210 sailfish proving that the migration is in full effect. Rigged ballyhoo, Ilander lures and live goggle eye are the baits of choice. Blackfin tuna and wahoo are also in the same waters as the sailfish. The bite is concentrated near the 120-foot mark right now, but don't be afraid to go out deeper. Keep your eyes open for birds feeding on the surface.
January is large-mouth bass month. This time of year, the bass are frisky due to the cooler temperatures. Lake Okeechobee is the hot spot. Rubber worms worked over ledges and in deep holes produce the best bites. Remember to watch the barometer as bass feed more heavily on a rising barometer.
For the individual looking for a consistent shore side bite this month, you cannot go wrong with bluefish. They are loaded on the beaches at night and offer nonstop action as the schools migrate from north to south. Frozen Spanish sardines work very well, but any cut bait is fine.
There is also a limited pompano bite available on sand fleas, frozen shrimp and on pompano jigs off the beach. Concentrate on fishing at first light, as the bite turns off by 9 a.m. The jetty and pier anglers are reporting the bluefish, jacks, pompano and an occasional mackerel.
Tight lines, crystal clear waters and sunny days to all
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Rob Fielding is an addicted angler and the owner of Sharkey's Tackle in Jupiter. For more information call ( 561) 630-3100 or e-mail Rob.Fielding@SharkeysTackle.com.