What's hot: With the dramatic decline in water temperature over the past week, inshore species will seek out warmer pockets of water on cooler mornings. Speckled trout, redfish and sheepshead will be most tolerant of temperatures in the mid 50s and can be caught with patience. When trying to locate game fish among the shallows, key in on southern facing shorelines with higher tree lines. These flats will radiate heat and hold larger amounts of fish. More often, the water will be cleaner as it will be protected from strong north winds.
Tips: When fishing our coastline after a front, slow everything down. Free-lining shrimp with a small split shot above the hook always works best. This method keeps the offering on the bottom longer — where the fish want to feed. With artificials, crawl the lure along the sandy pockets, where it creates mud puffs and draws attention. Bucktails, plastic worms and grub tails imitate the smaller meals trout and reds want. By keeping the rod tip high and using a jighead of one-eighth ounce, these lures can be worked very slowly to cover more area.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.