Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Snook, pompano head for warmer water during cold spell in west-central Florida

Sensitive fish: The blast of cold air that moved through our region late last week put an abrupt end to springlike conditions that anglers had enjoyed for several weeks. In the North Suncoast area, water temperatures plummeted almost overnight. That sudden shock sent temperature-sensitive fish such as snook and pompano running for warmer water.

Snook fishing: Before the cold fronts, passage snook had begun to show up outside the rivers and canals. Most of them were 18 to 26 inches. They were found gathered along leeward shorelines where the bottom was dark and there was direct sunlight.

But as long as the water stays cold, these fish will likely disappear until things get warm. Very cold water can stun and even kill snook, and they usually return to deep inland water as soon as water temperatures begin to fall out of their comfort range.

When the temperatures warm and they move out again, stealthy sight casting with live shrimp using very light leaders and small hooks will produce strikes if an angler is patient and repeatedly crawls a shrimp through the area with snook. It's common to get a bite on a 10th cast to the same fish.

Pompano: Pompano and small permit from miles of grassflats near Tarpon Springs typically seek the shelter of the Anclote power plant when cold sets in. Early reports have been good as the fish begin to appear in the outflow channel. The lure of choice for most pompano pros is a small yellow jig, tipped with a small piece of shrimp and bounced rapidly along the bottom.

Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail

Captain's Corner: Snook, pompano head for warmer water during cold spell in west-central Florida 01/19/09 [Last modified: Monday, January 19, 2009 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Rays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Today: at Twins

    2:10, Target Field, Minneapolis

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. State baseball: Unbeaten Calvary Christian makes it 29 straight wins, reaches final


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian is one game from season-long perfection. And its first state championship.

     Calvary Christian players celebrate their win after the FHSAA class 4A semi-final against American Heritage on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary defeated American Heritage 7 to 1. Calvary takes on Pensacola Catholic in the championship tomorrow night, at Hammond Stadium.
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.