Blustery conditions are typical this time of year. The past next few days have been windy, allowing anglers to start shopping for the holiday season without missing out on great fishing. It has been a bit tough on hard-core fishermen or anyone seeking a deviation from turkey and/or planning a sea creature as an alternative for a traditional holiday meal. Strong cold fronts are a game-changer and an inevitable fact of early winter. Baitfish and other species are difficult to find after drastic weather changes in the winter. Reds are still on the flats. With stout winds, especially from the north, the bay can change dramatically. Check the tide chart before heading to an area with shallow water, even on summer tides. On extreme low tides, redfish have been bunching together in the "skinny" water. Finding potholes or depressions on the flats can be a potential scaly copper delight. It's difficult navigating the extreme shallows with conventional bay-style boats, therefore using kayaks or canoe-type crafts can be beneficial. A stealth approach can lead to numerous catches. The smaller crafts are ideal for feeder creeks and residential canals. Canals and tributaries to the bay can be fished even on gnarly, windy days.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.