Record heat has caused anglers to have flashbacks of a brutal summer. Water and air temperatures are way above normal. Typically we should have had a harsh or at least noticeable cold front by now. Fish such as snook and other species are somewhat confused. Though we have had record heat for days, fish are still in "fall" mode. Snook are starting to head into the backwaters and residential canals. All in all, it has been a very unusual season. Mangrove snapper don't seem to mind that winter is on its way. They are still crushing live offerings around area bridges and range markers, or almost any area with structure. "Mangs" are notorious for infuriating anglers or pleasing coolers. Yes, they are tricky sometimes, but a nice batch of snapper is always welcome any time of the year. Use the lightest leader material available for snapper. They have extremely keen eyesight. Redfish are oblivious to the freaky fall and are still marauding around the flats. Cut bait is working nicely. A small split shot is enough weight for this type of fishing. It is surprising how many fish a rod holder actually catches. The holders are usually the most patient fishermen. Giant herds of mullet are working the shorelines, which are a great place to find reds. There are many theories about why the two species hang out together. Pick your favorite explanation.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.