What's hot: Fishing this past week with a cold front and falling water temperatures was challenging. The trout that had inhabited shallow waters from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs found shelter in deeper water away from the spoil islands and were spread out. I focused on the canals and backcountry bays, looking for fish along seawalls and shorelines. The terrain here frequently has a dark, muddy bottom and heats quickly from the sun. Sheepshead, redfish and snook are the most common targets.
Bait: Pitch live shrimp along and under structure, such as docks and mangrove limbs, and retrieve slowly to entice a strike. Artificial shrimp are most durable.
Tip: It takes one or two warmer days to get the fish excited again. Trout will begin to move toward the spoil islands with the rising tides and snook will blast live sardines if you can find them. Redfish tend to gather in the low tide potholes along the oyster bars and grass flats, moving under the structure as the tide rises.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and through his website at captbrian.com.