Sunday, February 18, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: As winds die down, fishing picks up

The wind has been keeping people off the water the past few days. With any luck we'll see wind speeds relax a bit by the weekend, allowing for what's typically pretty reliable fishing around the Thanksgiving holiday. Water temperatures have been plummeting thanks to a couple of 50-degree nights earlier this week. Sub-70 degrees water temperatures won't send the baitfish to deeper waters yet, but it might take only one more substantial cold front for that to happen. Live shrimp will become the mainstay in the weeks to come for most inshore anglers. Mix in a few live pinfish and/or some freshly caught ladyfish and it will begin to feel a lot like winter fishing is here. Redfish numbers have been good this fall throughout the Intracoastal and Tampa Bay waters. Look for areas of prespawn mullet to be an attractant for the redfish. Spoil islands and no-motor zone flats are places to check, but don't leave out the docks. Finding an active canal can yield redfish, sheepshead and black drum. Trout fishing has been good recently and should only get better as temperatures drop. Targeting the negative tides has been best. Working the dropoffs with live bait or artificials gives you a chance at all predators, including big trout roaming the shallows. And now is the time to start checking spoil island holding spots on the middle part of the incoming tide — the islands have been producing trout, pompano and mackerel recently.

Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.

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