TheTampa Bay Times

Captain Mike Gore

We received our real first taste of winter the past couple of days. If you are looking to fish this weekend, you may want to wait until the afternoon. The water temperature is sure to drop a few degrees so try fishing deeper holes or muddy bottoms.

With the water getting cooler and all the algae starting to die off, you may need to downsize your tackle.  The cleaner the water is, the easier it is for the fish to see you and your tackle. Try taking you leader down to 20 or 25lb and use a 1/0 circle hook to increase your bite.  You may also want to use an 8ft pole to help you cast further. Making longer casts to the fish this time of year is the key to not spooking them.

With the water temperature starting to drop, the Snook have really become active. They are blowing up on chummers and chasing down live scaled sardines. If fishing the negative tide, look for them to move out of the mangroves and into the sand holes on the grass flats. The same sand holes are holding redfish and nice speckled trout as well.

Offshore and inside of 5 miles, the hard bottom has produced some nice kingfish and Spanish mackerel action. Although you may have to wait until the wind lays down some to get out there. The fish have been anywhere from 15 – 40lbs.