Sunday, January 21, 2018
Outdoors

Captains corner: Pay attention to tides, wind and temps around passing fronts

What's hot: During January, cold fronts play a major role in where inshore fish will stage to feed. Tide, wind and water temperature help determine which flat or island speckled trout and redfish will hold around. On cooler days, most of these game fish push into the south-facing shorelines that will produce heat as the day goes on.

Trout: A cold front can move these big females from deeper water and allow great sightcasting opportunities among the shallows. These 4-plus pounders often lay up in 6 inches of water and let the tide flush in an easy meal. Weedless jerkbaits and free-lined shrimp are the best baits after passing fronts.

Redfish: Check shallow, sandy flats and oyster bars with good current flow. Use light leaders and long casts. Larger fish hang in the drop-offs along the flats and cruise with mullet schools. Cast a weedless gold spoon and work it near the bottom, as this is where reds like to feed.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at [email protected]

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