All Tampa Bay waterways are not equal. There are many variations. When reports circulate of a specific species being active, it doesn’t mean it is abundant or cooperative everywhere. Focusing on the region you normally fish will lead to success in your area. The unseasonably warm weather punctuated by random cold snaps has kept fish and fishermen a little confused. Staying on the move until fish are found has been necessary some days. If a particular spot is not producing, don’t waste time. Move on. Artificial lures are an excellent choice now for finding cooperative fish. Ideally they should be worked slowly and as close to the bottom as possible. Allowing the lure to occasionally bump bottom can help draw a fish’s attention. Avoid overworking the lure. Subtle movements or a straight retrieve is all that’s necessary. The cooler weather forecast for this week will most likely move fish around a bit. Once that weather clears, it will be time to get back on the water and resume the hunt. Often, fish don’t go far, so resuming in an area where you left them and exploring from there is a good plan.

Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and