Looks like stable weather conditions will continue through Sunday, then we'll get a touch of winter for a week or so. The fishing the rest of the week should be solid. Snook and trout continue to be top performers. A well full of sardines is a hot commodity going into the cold front Monday. Trout and snook will stage close to their winter holes, so look for a big push of fish to come into the creeks and rivers along Tampa Bay. They will feed hard to get one last bellyful before the cooler air moves in to send the water temperatures into the low 60s. As snook migrate deep into the backcountry, sheepshead migrate into the bay, deep-water rock piles, wrecks and reefs. Sheepshead can be a challenge. Rigging with a No. 2 bait hook and a small piece of shrimp weighted enough to sink in the current is an undeniable meal. Sheepshead eat the bait right off the hook. To combat this, I tell my anglers to fish as straight down as possible. Also, when the fish begins tapping the shrimp, begin slowly pulling up.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.