The recent cold front and winds have definitely affected fishing in north Pinellas County. Sardines that we rely on as live bait are going to be very difficult to locate until milder weather stabilizes again. Live shrimp are going to work as well as artificial lures. However, presentation is everything in cold water conditions. Very slow movements are key to getting strikes from lethargic fish. Trout seem to cooperate the most but need a day or two to acclimate. Imitation shrimp patterns moved slowly along the bottom will often be the most effective. Small jig tails with an 1/8 ounce jig-head will also attract fish, but again the retrieve must be slow, hopping in and out of the grassy bottom and sand holes. Several species will congregate along the deeper edges of the flats. You’ll find lady fish, jacks, trout, redfish and even spanish mackerel. However, the backcountry, residential canals and shallow bays will hold warmer water temperatures and may produce more action. Using cut pieces of shrimp around dock pilings can result in redfish and sheepshead. Sheepshead are a great table fair and are often overlooked due to their appearance, but many local anglers know of their quality on the dinner table. Snook will need a few days of warmer temperatures to be active again. There are plenty of other species to target through the cooler months.

Latest posts by ntaylor (see all)