What's hot: We are finally in winter. It can be tough when fish get stuck between their winter and spring patterns. One day, the water temperature is in the mid 60s. Then a cold front sends you in search of water a few degrees warmer. Plan your trip for the end of the outgoing and start of the incoming tide. That takes advantage of the warmer water coming out of rivers and creeks on the outgoing and warmer water moving back in on the new tide.
Tips: Lots of trout are biting in 2-6 feet along the grass beds. I like throwing a quarter-ounce jig head with a 3-inch shad tail or rig a live shrimp with the tail cut off. I have been fishing redfish during the last hour of the outgoing tide and first three hours of the incoming tide in shallower than 2 feet, sight-casting with a 1/16-ounce jig head with a 4-inch jerk bait. If fishing over grass and potholes, I rig it weedless. If throwing flies, I like a crab or baitfish pattern. The Apollo Beach power plant still holds amberjack, sharks and cobia. I look for the colder days to fish, when it puts out warmer water.
Tip: For morning fishing, I like the east side of the shore because it warms up first and the west shore in the afternoon. A few degrees makes a big difference.
Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.