The cold fronts rolling in and the foggy mornings have made for some interesting fishing conditions this month. Dropping water temperatures have the bite fired up inshore and offshore before the fronts. Snook fishing is on fire right now on whitebait. We have been finding them around and up the major rivers, creeks and residential docks ó a ton of smaller snook, with some overslot snook mixed in. The best bait is still a scaled sardine or whitebait, with a white 4-inch jerk bait coming in second. Redfishing is just starting to get better on the flats. I look for mullet schools in 1 to 3 feet of water on the flats. Use your trolling motor to get in position and set up. The best baits are dead baits like sardines or pinfish on the bottom, and for artificials, a jerk bait or paddle tail jig. The keeper trout bite has been better with the cooler water. Try using the bigger baits; those nicer trout will eat them. The nearshore bite on the hogfish and grouper has been really good on the days you can get out there. We have been catching hogfish on knocker rigs fishing with shrimp.
Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at [email protected]