What's hot: The "Polar Express" finally arrived. Strong cold fronts are a game-changer when it comes to consistently catching fish during late December. Spotted sea trout have been cooperative lately. They are clumping in deeper holes adjacent to grass flats and some residential canals. When it gets really cold, trout can save the day. Unlike other species, they can tolerate the chill.
What's cold: Water temperatures have plummeted over the past week due to our first cold snap of the year. With temperatures in the upper 50s, fishing gets difficult.
Tips: If using artificial lures, slow down the retrieve to just about a crawl. Cold fish will not exert much effort to catch a dinner that is speeding by. Patience and a slow approach will lead to many more strikes. If fishing has been slow for an hour or so, many anglers subconsciously speed up their retrieval rate. This happens because of frustration or just simply being cold and bored. In addition, extra caution should be used on the water by all fishermen because a spill into Tampa Bay or the gulf can lead to hypothermia in a very short time.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit snookfish.com.