Cold conditions: Water temperatures are trying their best to stay above 60 degrees. Once temperatures drop to the 50s, the metabolism of most fish slows, and this is when things can really get tough for fishermen.
Slow it down: At this time of year we are in no rush to hit the water at daybreak. Allow the sun to heat things up a bit. Our trips will often leave at 8 or 9 a.m. More light and warmth are key for any success at this time.
Warmer waters if you head west: Travel further from shore for the best results. At 10 miles from shore you will notice water temperatures start to creep up. A 30-mile jaunt (85 to 90 feet) will reward you with 60-degree temperatures and much more cooperative game fish. During our past few trips, amberjacks and red grouper have been the best bet for bringing home dinner.
Another note: Watch for large tripletail for the next few months. They can be spotted at the surface, clinging to any large floating object. Navigation buoys, floating sea grass and crab trap buoys will often hold this interesting fish.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.