What's hot: This past weekend left the bay chilled and the fish seeking deeper, warmer water. Sheepshead are not affected by colder water and will stay close to rocks, pilings and docks. Small offerings with downsized hooks and lighter lines help in hooking these bait-stealers. Trout are easing off the flats into muddier bottoms. Offer them a small, soft plastic worked slowly on the bottom. Redfish have spread out and are harder to find.
Techniques: Downsize your tackle as the cooler waters are crystal clear (as long as the wind is calm) because of the low temperatures not allowing algae to grow. Use No. 1 hooks, 15-pound leader, 10-pound main line, and rod and reel that match this tackle.
Tips: Sheepshead bait of choice are pieces of shrimp the size of a nickel, fiddler crabs or oysters. Redfish prefer cut, fresh pinfish just soaked on the bottom. Trout have been hitting top water and small, soft plastics with an eighth-ounce jighead.
Jackie Otto can be reached at (727) 518-7637 or firstname.lastname@example.org.