What's hot: The late-season chill of last week has finally burned off. It is really hard for Old Man Winter to hang on until April. The sun is getting higher in the sky, and water temperatures are rising rapidly. So fishing should explode any day now. Shallow-water fish such as reds and snook have returned to the flats. Areas close to mangroves or established oyster mounds are great to look for both. Live shrimp, scaled sardines or pinfish can be deadly. Troll slowly with artificial lures because the water is still chilly.
Tip: Water temperatures have climbed into the high 60s at the beach and low 70s in Tampa Bay. This approaches the magic 72, when king and Spanish mackerel love to invade. Both have sharp teeth and should be handled carefully.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531, email email@example.com or visit snookfish.com.