With colder weather the first big change is what bait to use. Before the cold fronts in the first week we were using greenbacks and catching a bunch of snook. With the cold weather that has hit us we are now shifting gears and using shrimp and throwing artificials for bait. Targeted species have been sheepshead, trout, redfish, cobia and bonnethead sharks. On those super cold days I use shrimp exclusively. This is about as slow of a bait as you can use and when water is cold this is key because fish just donít want to chase baits. Sheepshead are the highlight this month. Find the crazy looking fish at wrecks, docks and any other type of structure. For flats fishing reds have been productive on the warmer days and venturing out to the deeper flats will produce a bunch of trout. On really cold days Apollo Beach provides warm water that will produce plenty of bonnethead sharks and cobia mixed with a few others that call the power plant home this time of year.
Jason Prieto is a full-time fishing guide and can be reached at (813) 727-9890.