Winter this year has seen more colder temps than the usual. Parts of Texas got snow where that usually does not occur – this included here in Rockport and even all the way into Florida. While that may suggest the fishing is out of whack, this is thankfully just not the case. That weather came and went, and we are out here in the bountiful coastal waters of Rockport, Texas during one of our favorite times of the year.
Rockport Fishing In January
During the month’s fo January in Rockport, our primary inshore species will be redfish and sea trout. Both are readily available and eager to take a bait. The only difference anglers should expect is how we present the bait and switch up our primary patterns a bit. The basic key will be to take it slow. A slow retreive with slow action is going to mimic what these guys are preying on during January here on the flats the best. That prey is mainly in the form of crustaceans, and possibly some baitfish as they present themselves.
January for Fly Fisherman
If you are fishing Rockport on the long rod during January, then your patterns are more likely to be the neighborhood of shrimp and crab patterns. Thankfully, you can see success in most of the shallow water column – top, middle and bottom. Though general wisdom dictates that the bottom will be the place to be. Specifically along grass edges where they meet the sand, or in the open waters over the grass flats themselves. You will present the fly in all the same ways as usual in regards to aim and placement, but from here – you want to slow that retrieve action and involve a lot of pauses along the way. If you can get the fly to bounce up and slowly drift back down during this, the better things will work out. This gives redfish the opportunity to see the fly and meander on over for a quick inhale without much effort – things moving too fast will definitely be out of place and mostly ignored – unless the temps have risen dramatically and the fish are active. Just take a good look at what you are seeing and this will dictate your final presentation decisions.
Light Tackle Fishing in January
For light tackle guys, you are looking at much the same as what was mentioned in the fly section. You can use your general summer standby lures, whether that be a soft plastic, a suspending twitch bait, and even on occasion that topwater lure. Your mission is the same, slow that retrieve regardless what you are doing. For soft plastic – paddle tail or shrimp/crab, a really slow along the bottom retrieve will serve you well. Throw in a bounce up or two along the way, and you can entice a redfish or a sea trout to come over and grab a snack. If using a hard plastic, again- go slow. This generally will involve the twitch, twitch, and pause for a bit style of retrieve. You can get hammered during any part of this action, so keep a firm grip and prepare for a strike at any time.
Finally, while we talk about redfish and sea trout as the main contenders here – January also brings opportunity for black drum and sheepshead. These will be targets of opportunity but have the gear ready for them. They will come in out of nowhere and leave just as easy – so keep your eyes peeled and you can add these to your target list for January Rockport fishing.