Beautiful weather has provided ideal fishing conditions. Water temperatures are on the decline, so throw out summer's tactics and strategy.
Tip: A general rule for cool water is to slow the presentation of live or artificial baits. Fish are cold-blooded, so their metabolic rate slows as the water cools. Be patient and slow everything for more consistent catches.
What's hot: Minus tides lately have restricted redfish opportunities, but deepwater fish such as grouper and black sea bass have kept anglers busy. This time of year, trout bunch up in potholes and residential canals, but they are out of season in our area. If you find yourself in this situation, bending down the hook barbs is a nice thing to do. Trout have a very high mortality rate when their slime layer is breached.
Food: Grouper can be caught inside Tampa Bay. A little research on the computer and some time on the water can equate to nice catches. The edges of the shipping channels are typically etched onto limestone bottom and provide an ideal gag hangout. A proper grouper can feed several people. Enjoy grouper now. They will be out of season after the first of the year.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, snookfish.com or (813) 310-6531.