With temperatures plunging in coastal waters, many species have moved from shallow areas where the effects of cold air are most pronounced. In Tarpon Springs, temperatures on the flats dipped as low as 53 last week. Rarely does the water here get any colder. Even hearty fish such as spotted sea trout and redfish are slowing down, seeking refuge in deep spots, holes in the rivers, and the power plant outfall canal. With more cold air moving in, anglers should focus on these places. On the positive side, if you find a hole that trout have hunkered into, you can catch a lot of them. The channel at Hurricane Pass is a great spot to jig for trout of varying sizes, even in cold and dirty conditions. When prospecting, drift the deeper areas while casting quarter-ounce jigs and hopping them along the bottom. Once you catch a few, anchor the boat a cast away and target the specific spot more directly. Once you determine a school's exact location, it's not uncommon to get a bite on every cast. When the water's dirty, as it is now, darker-colored lures seem to work best. One of our secret weapons is a 6-inch dark purple, plastic worm rigged on a jig head. It works for specks and silver trout that often inhabit the same holes in midwinter.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. Contact him at email@example.com or (727) 944-3474.