The last frontal passage brought a lot of wind and some cold mornings along the Nature Coast. The shallow flats saw water temperatures plummet as much as 10 to 12 degrees in a couple of days. Most inshore fish ran for deep water or moved up into area rivers and creeks to find warmer water. This change will mark the beginning of the wintertime pattern that will require anglers to change tactics.
Redfish are still around in good numbers and will begin feeding more and more on shrimp and other small, slow-moving baitfish. This is a great time to sight fish for them as they will be tailing in the shallows while they root out forage of the sand and grass. The schools will be scattered and smaller in numbers, but once you locate an area with the tails showing you will have multiple fish in casting distance.
Trout fishing will get better and their sizes and numbers will be improving each week. Drift fishing across the grass flats while casting jerk shads and shrimp imitations will produce the best numbers. Those who wish to target the larger "gator trout" will be best served fishing structures. Potholes on the flats, rock bars and swash channels with good current will hold the larger fish. Large pigfish fished under a float to keep the bait just off the bottom will be more than they can resist.
Capt. Troy P. Sapp with Fins and Tails Guide Service can be reached at (813) 920-6928.