Cold Weather, Hot Fishing

Find out what water temperatures certain species will tolerate.

Snow on a beach
Cold weather can thin crowds and increase your chances of success. Metehan Girisgen/Shutterstock.com

Many anglers abandon their fishing plans when they see a severe cold front in the forecast, but those who don’t chicken out can score big in the shallows when the chill is on. Over my many years of fishing, I’ve caught some of the largest snook, redfish and trout in the dead of winter, when few souls were willing to brave the elements. It only requires putting on a couple of extra layers, knowing the target species’ tolerance for the cold, and finding a few spots where the water is at the low end of their preferred temperature range.

SpeciesMin. Water Temp
Barracuda55 degrees
Bluefish50 degrees
Bonefish65 degrees
Flounder52 degrees
Jack Crevalle65 degrees
Permit70 degrees
Pompano65 degrees
Redfish55 degrees
Seatrout52 degrees
Snook66 degrees
Spanish Mackerel62 degrees
Tarpon70 degrees

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