Tip: Patience is one of the fundamentals of fishing. An extra helping of it really helps this time of year. Weather issues and gloomy forecasts should be taken seriously. Not only is the safe alternative a good idea, but anyone who has spent a miserable day on the water knows how much "fun" it can be to be cold, wet and even scared.
What's hot: Speckled trout are cooperating in areas that are a bit deeper than their normal summer hangouts. Residential canals or deep holes next to grass flats will hold eager winter trout. Soft plastic jigs and live shrimp are hard to beat. Strikes tend to be subtle. Therefore, light gear is desired for cold-water trout.
What's not: Gamefish other than trout, flounder and the occasional redfish have been somewhat difficult to obtain. The water is gradually warming, but the fish are still sluggish. Winds will eventually subside, it will be warmer and we will be reaching for the sunblock soon enough.
Captain Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at www.snookfish.com or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org