captain william toney

Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report with Captain Toney: Finding Fish in the Dead of Winter

By Captain William Toney Posted on January 17, 2023

Fishing in the dead of winter can be a roller coaster ride of weather events that turn the fish on or off, just like a light switch. The tough days are during the cold front and the next few days after, but when the wind switches around to the south us anglers are back in business.

By now most game fish have acclimated to the winter fronts and are ready to move if it gets cold.  For the in-close fishing around the major creeks and rivers, I tend to go back to the same spots where I caught them last. Those spots have one thing in common; access to deep water, whether it be a hole, canal or dark water channel, it’s where fish will ride out the cold nights until the sun warms the shallow edges. Using a shallow running plug or soft plastic on the edges of the deep water will get the bite. 

Another method of finding warm water is to study the outside keys. Keys that run east and west have a south side that will block a cool north wind but also collect the southern sun in the protective coves. Dark bottom on a protective cove will be warm. The fish know it and you will too. You may have to peel a layer of clothes off to cool down.

These areas are often good for redfish. They will blend in by staying still, so slow going is the best bet, and sometimes just staking out and being patient pays off. Live shrimp is the best bait. Let the fish find it. Remember, in cold water scent does not carry far.

High incoming tide will be in the afternoon this weekend.

Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report from Captain William Toney

To schedule a fishing charter or shore lunch excursion with Captain Toney, visit his website. He is a third-generation fishing guide in the Homosassa area, a member of the Homosassa Guides Association, and he provides the Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report each week to

To read about our Shore Lunch excursion with Captain Toney, click here.

If you want to learn more about how to catch Nature Coast fish from Captain Toney, subscribe to his videos at

homosassa inshore fishing report
Captain William Toney is a fourth-generation Homosassa fishing guide. He provides our weekly Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report.



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