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Saltwater Fish in the Winter

The winter months are here and with that comes a variety of challenges for fish and fisherman alike. When the water in California drops below around 65 degrees Fahrenheit most of the saltwater species seem to become dormant and will only bite or become active when an abundance of food is available. Since fish are cold-blooded they will often have 2 options when the winter comes, migration or hibernation. Migration is pretty simple as it comes down to mainly moving out o a specific area in search of something that is required such as food or warmer climates. However, the prominent inshore species of fish in California are not equipped to make the journey to Mexico in search of warm water. Instead they “hibernate” which simply put entails them becoming much more stationary and dormant relying on the food coming to them through the currents. They can often only be provoked into eating a lure if it is put directly in front of them so following a steady current is very important. A cold front often makes the fish leave the shallow water which cools almost as quickly as the air and go to deeper water that retains its temperature through a cold front or at least does not plummet as quickly. The good news is that the fish are still around, just in different places. They will go deeper and into their “sleeping bags” when the water temperature drops. However, when they begin to unthaw they become much more aggressive. Overall fish in California often follow a different set of guidelines than a more tropical inshore location like Florida because of the vastly varying temperature in the region.

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