The Tampa Bay Times
Last week’s cold front put a stamp on what’s been our coldest winter in years. With water temperatures back in the fifties is hard to expect fish to feed much until we get an actual warming trend that lasts a few days. Slowing down and forcing yourself to be patient with a spot, as long as everything looks good, is the only way to get bit right now.
Redfish, seatrout, ladyfish, bluefish and pompano can all be caught in many of the same spots right now through ought the Intercoastal Waterway. Finding clean water is the single biggest factor to productive fishing right now. Despite the high winds earlier this week the Intercoastal has cleaned up nicely. Target the outer edges of grass flats that have a good drop off. The tide is generally low this time of year and will condense the fish into a smaller area.
If the water warms up with an afternoon incoming tide, work these edges with a variety of artificial lures. Pompano jigs come in a couple different styles, the banana shaped ones in pink and white or yellow and white rigged with a chartreuse or pink teaser fly have been working well for all of the fish not just pompano. If you’re not getting bites, slow down your retrieve until you find what the fish want.
If your specifically targeting redfish and larger trout, you would want to fish shallower. Soft-plastics in darker color variations such as root beer, black and gold and avocado red flake are great choices when the water is a little stirred up.