What's hot: Blustery conditions are typical for this time of year. Strong cold fronts are a definite game-changer. Baitfish and other species are difficult to find when we have drastic weather changes in the winter. Reds are still on the flats. On the extreme low tides, redfish have been bunching together in the "skinny" water. Finding potholes or depressions on the flats can be a potential scaly gold mine.
Tips: It can be difficult to navigate into the extreme shallows with conventional bay-style boats, so kayaks or canoe-type crafts can be especially effective. The smaller crafts are ideal for feeder creeks and residential canals. The day after a major holiday usually is a busy day, so use extra patience at the boat ramps.
Seasonal: We are in a time of extreme fluctuations in weather and fish patterns. Migratory forces are at work as well as meteorological ones, too. Trout will start to bunch up in deeper holes and some residential canals. Trout don't seem to mind the cold as well as other drum species. Other fish that will cooperate when it gets chilly are sheepshead, black drum and flounder.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.