The Tampa Bay Times

Captain’s Corner: Cold Weather Fishing

Capt Jim Lemke Times Correspondent

With the cold front that just rolled into the Tampa bay is making for some interesting fishing conditions for late January along with the dropping are water temps has the bite fired up inshore and offshore before and a few days after these cold fronts.

The Snook fishing is good with the warmer temps last week on shrimp or white bait. We have been finding them around and up the major rivers, creeks, and residential docks. A ton of smaller snook along with a few bigger snook mix in. the best bait is still a scaled sardine or whitebait with a white 4-inch jerk bait coming in second.

The Redfishing is a lot better on the flats on the low incoming tide. I look for mullet schools in the 1 to 2 foot of water on the flats and use your trolling motor or get out and wade for them to get a better position and setup. The best baits are dead baits like cut Ladyfish or Pinfish on the bottom and for artificials a Jerk Baits or paddle tail jigs.

The keeper Trout bite has been doing better with the cooler water. When you get on them try using the bigger Shrimp for baits and those nicer trout will eat them.

The nearshore bite on the Hogfish have been good on the days you can get out there. The Hogfish we been catching are on knocker rigs and or jig heads fishing with a small or whole shrimp.  Capt. Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at

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