What's hot: Several days of extremely windy conditions have kept everyone off the water, bringing fishing to a halt. Improving marine forecasts should eventually show lighter wind speeds and milder weather as Hurricane Sandy, which became a post-tropical cyclone late Monday, dissipates in the Northeast.
Getting started: When weather systems pass like what we just experienced, the water becomes stirred up and muddy. Baitfish scatter, and fishing patterns that were consistent over the past few weeks are changed. Fishing now will be like starting all over. Our first trips out will be to assess conditions. Search for clean water in protected areas. Avoid fishing in open exposed water or near the passes because of the dirty water.
Pro tip: Make some noise. Artificial lures are great for searching and finding concentrations of fish. Lures that produce sound will have an advantage, triggering an auditory response from the fish as well as a visual connection. Top-water selections with rattles or the addition of a popping float ahead of soft plastic jigs will generate commotion to gain attention and draw a strike.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at email@example.com and (727)510-1009.