This week's unseasonably cold weather has temporarily disrupted some of the best fall fishing action. As the weather begins to warm, expect the bite to improve.
On the flats: Snook are the most temperature-sensitive local species and thus the most affected. Those that had been in shallow water have retreated toward deeper channels and river mouths. Late afternoon is the best time of day for those looking to hook up a linesider. Redfish are much more tolerant of cold water but still make dramatic shifts in location when temperatures drop rapidly. Schools often break up, sending scattered singles out across the open flats. As the weather pattern returns toward normal, the reds will begin to congregate on particular oyster bars and rock piles at high tide. The bigger speckled trout will move into shallower water.
Just offshore: Dirty water has forced vast schools of bait, Spanish mackerel and kingfish further offshore. As the winds shift back toward the east, coastal waters will begin to clear up and the toothy species will come right back in.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.