What's hot: Water temperatures in the mid 50s have limited the options for inshore anglers. While it is unexpectedly early, this is not uncommon.
Cold water favorites: Sheepshead aren't glamorous and don't leap out of the water when hooked, but they can secure dinner. Sheepshead gather for spawning from December through March. They move from inland waters to offshore wrecks and limestone bottom features. Along the way, schools spend time in the passes and around jetties. Bluefish also prefer cold water. They will aggressively strike a topwater plug regardless of weather and have been spotted in the flats of northern Pinellas and southern Pasco.
On warmer days, huge spotted sea trout have been showing up in 2-3 feet with grass bottoms. Low, light conditions such as early morning or overcast skies are the best time. The best lures are intermediate sinking plugs or soft, plastic jerk baits. The near-neutral buoyancy of both allows them to be worked slower without sinking into the grass.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail [email protected]