Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Amid winter's bluster, cold-tolerant seatrout remain top bet

Inshore: Fish that can tolerate cold water are still cooperating in certain areas. Sheepshead or any variety of the drum family feed even on chilly days. Members of the drum family include redfish, seatrout, and black drum. All are delicious and will cooperate on the nastiest of days.

A proper set of foul-weather gear is a good investment for those who head out in unpredictable weather. This not only keeps you warm and keeps the cutting wind off, but it also serves as a shield from the stinky reality of fishing.

Trout are in season for the state's southern region beginning today. Seatrout are a delicate species that should be handled carefully. The slime layer is vital for fending off disease. Any breach of this film can be a death sentence. Therefore, using a dehooking device or wet hands are the best ways to safely release this game fish if it is not going to be taken for the dinner table.

Trout are bunching in the mouths of residential canals and deeper areas adjacent to grass flats. The cold mornings tend to concentrate these fish tightly, so finding one of these schools can lead to nonstop action for quite a while.

Offshore: This is the time of year when the gulf can be especially dangerous. Cold water and rapidly changing weather conditions can create an uncomfortable situation if proper precautions are not taken. Pay attention to the marine forecast and use good old-fashioned common sense.

An emergency beacon such as an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) can be the best investment on board any vessel. If things get really bad, the push of a button can get help on the way within minutes.

Grouper will be off limits for a few months, so for those seeking dinner, the red-mouth grunts are an abundant and tasty. Any area of hard bottom in depths of 30 to 50 feet will hold these delicacies. Some anglers rig cut squid a few hooks in sequence, much like a giant Sabiki rig, with a weight at the bottom.

Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or or via e-mail at

Amid winter's bluster, cold-tolerant seatrout remain top bet 12/31/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning's Swedes live their dream in Worlds


    You could see it in his face.

    Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman screamed as he hoisted the World Championship trophy Sunday afternoon in Cologne, Germany, and it looked like an exhale that was years in the making. Stralman kissed the forehead of Swedish teammate Joel Lundqvist, the joy unmistakable.

  2. Starting at top: O.J. Howard becomes first Bucs rookie to sign


    The Bucs have begun the process of signing their rookie draft picks and they started at the top.

    Alabama tight end O.J. Howard has signed a four-year contract with a fifth-year club option with the Bucs.
  3. Hey, somebody really ought to write about this Aaron Judge guy


    He can catch, too.

    It's no tall tale.

    Aaron Judge, The Amazing Colossal Man, has come and gone, but not before he stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field. The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge robbed Evan Longoria of an RBI double and helped …

    Aaron Judge stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field.
  4. FSU, Gators, USF and Miami all in Athlon preseason top 25


    The college football preseason magazines are trickling in, as our Joey Knight wrote earlier.

  5. Bucs' Jameis Winston rising in fantasy football rankings


    We're still probably three months away from most fantasy football drafts, but it's not too early to appreciate that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has taken a major step up in the rankings entering his third NFL season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is ranking much higher in fantasy football rankings entering his third NFL season.