While this weekend's cold front might not keep the air temperature cool for a long time, hopefully it will drop the water temperature into the 60s. You can still find scaled sardines at the bridges and on the flats, but fishing with shrimp can be productive in the winter. Almost everything will eat shrimp. Also good for winter are artificial lures and soft plastics. With the low tides and clear water, sight-cast tailing redfish. Look for mullet schools and redfish are usually not too far behind. You can also find these fish around your usual spots such as oyster beds and mangroves. Using cut bait this time of year is pretty productive. While it is not the most exciting way to fish, it will produce. This will bring the redfish to you instead of you trying to find them. Redfish are very spooky this time of year. The trout bite during winter months is almost hard to beat. Many of these fish will be in 4-6 feet of water on the grass flats. You can almost count on catching at least 30 fish, if this is your target species. Some of the biggest trout being caught this year are in 1-2 feet of water, but if you are looking for quantity, then stay a little deeper. Just set up a drift over the flats. Sometimes with the wind you might need to deploy a drift sock, which will slow you down.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.