Fall has definitely arrived. Several cool and breezy days last week reminded us that substantial and long-lasting cold fronts will be here soon, as will the associated wind and rough seas. We've had a nice string of calm days for great fall fishing and gorgeous boating conditions.
Tip: Always expect the actual wind velocities to be higher than those forecasted. This is the time when afternoon sea breezes can be stout. Meteorology is not an exact science, but it always seems to be more windy than predicted by the pros.
What's hot: Snook are cramming in their last few big meals before they start their seasonal migrations to the back waters and freshwater tributaries from the flats. There seems to be a lack of giant fish being caught now, but the sheer number of smaller fish can make for a fun time.
Approach: Live sardines are still the best live bait for cool-water snook. As things get colder, live shrimp will be a more viable bait option. Bait fish are still on the flats but are becoming harder to obtain, but they can be worth their weight in gold.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, snookfish.com or (813) 310-6531.