A month ago water temperatures were in the 70s and we were trolling and bottom fishing on most trips offshore. Normally, trolling stops around Thanksgiving because low water temperatures send baitfish and their predators (Spanish mackerel, kingfish, barracuda) south to warmer water. The last cold front slowed the metabolism of most offshore species. Our last trip started in 50 feet, which had produced banner catches before the front. Anchoring over a proven limestone outcropping resulted in only a few white grunts. We continued west to 80 feet where fish were more active but still not as aggressive as the week before. It required a lot of chumming, use of squid, for the scent placed in the water and a lot of patience. We returned with white grunts, a few red grouper, Lane snapper, and porgies in the box.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.