A couple of recent cold fronts have really turned on the snook, trout, and kingfish bite. Not to mention that the redfish bite has been hot since August. The water temperatures now in the 70s have them chasing down live scaled sardines. Offshore and inside of 5 miles on the hard bottom has produced non-stop kingfish action. Trolling lures has produced some fish but the best action has been anchoring up and chumming them to the boat. The fish have been from 15 to 40 pounds. Mix in Spanish mackerel, bonita and sharks to the action for a memorable day. With the cooler weather, the snook have really become active blowing up on chummers and chasing down live scaled sardines. The negative tides have moved them out of the mangroves and into the sand holes on the flats. The same sand holes are holding redfish and nice speckled trout as well. With the water getting cooler and algae starting to die off, you may need to downsize your tackle. The cleaner the water is, the easier it is for the fish to see you and your tackle. Take your leader down to 20 pounds and use a 1/0 circle hook. An 8-foot pole can help casting distance — longer casts this time of year is the key to not spooking fish.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.