What's hot: This month will bring cold fronts that lower the water temperature. When the temperature drops 8 to 10 degrees, trout, redfish and snook will move under docks and into residential canals. The best docks to target will have a deep canal in front and grass flats on the other side. The water temperature of the flats will cool faster than the deep canal. And the fish will move to where the water is warmer. The best residential canals holding fish run north and south. The north end will have the warmest water.
Tips and tackle: You can cover large areas faster using a jig worked close to the bottom. When you find a productive area, switch to a free-lined tail-hooked shrimp. Cast the shrimp in front of and alongside the docks. Take your time and work the jig or shrimp slowly along the bottom. Rods should handle 10- to 20-pound test with a 20- to 30-pound leader.
When to go: Watch the weather reports to see when the front will pass the area you intend to fish. The best time to target these areas is after the front has passed. The fish will need time to feel the cooler water and move to the docks. The back side of the front will have the strongest winds. The canals provide protection from the wind and make fishing more comfortable.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.