Weather has detoured our recent missions to catch fish. Unexpected cold blasts have hampered the fishing during the past week. We did, however, see some reprieve this weekend. We were able to catch some larger red grouper, mangrove snapper and other tasty bottom species on Sunday. That proves fish have started to thaw a bit from the crazy weather of the past week. Many local offshore species don't handle water temperature drops of more than 5 degrees very well. They will hibernate and not eat until adjusting to the major changes. The water temperatures in the gulf are not normally in the 50s. When this happens, fish become flaky and can be quite finicky. Eventually they will wake up and eat a bit. Patience and proper timing are the true keys for success. Chasing the species that is less impervious to the cold is my suggestion for being a productive angler. Inshore, you can always count on sheepshead and speckled trout for endless action during these cold blasts. Offshore, amberjack and snapper seem to be less affected from the cold snaps than other fish.
Dave Mistretta captains Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.