The snook bite has been unseasonably strong, but it could weaken over the next few days. Forecasters are calling for major temperature drops, which would shake things up a bit and funnel fish into the places they should already be. With lower temperatures, look for redfish and trout to invade the bay's creek and river systems, closer to the mouths and likely feeding on a crustacean pattern. Shrimp on a jig head around deepwater docks can be a good combination for redfish. Trout also fall victim to shrimp presented this way. Toss the bait up current and let it tumble along the bottom; the bumping across the shell and sand attracts their attention. Snook will press farther up into the rivers seeking refuge from cold water. Often during this time of year, it's common to catch snook, bass and tarpon in the same area. Trolling with plugs is an effective way to find where fish are staging. Once found, the area can be worked with an array of artificial baits, jerk worms and shallow diving plugs as well as the old faithful shad tail.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.