Windy conditions have made for difficult fishing in Tampa Bay. Dodging cold fronts in search of a nice day can be frustrating. Spotted sea trout are cooperating despite gnarly conditions. They don't mind the cold and tend to gather into large groups in deeper water than in the warmer months. On calm days, redfish have been cooperative on occasion. With water clarity good this time of year, the opportunity is there for "sight fishing". Seeing a fish, casting to it, then watching it whack your bait is a complete thrill and one of my favorite ways to fish. As it gets chilly, fishing will get tricky. Fishing slows as water temperature drops. Since fish are cold-blooded, their metabolic rate decreases as does their appetite. When using artificial lures, slow your retrieve to a crawl. Fish will not exert much energy chasing something swimming fast. Residential canals are a viable option on windy days. Live shrimp tossed under a dock can be deadly for many species.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.