What's hot: Typically, November is transition time for fish in Tampa Bay. The seasons are changing, and so are fish habits. Though the weather is beautiful, the angling can be especially tricky this time of year. Even with water temperatures hovering around 70, the fish have remained fairly active.
Tip: For those desiring to keep it simple, artificial lures become increasingly effective as the weather cools. The soft plastic types are especially deadly when fished slowly. Also, trolling planes and plugs will hammer grouper this time of year.
Tactics: Deeper water adjacent to structure is usually productive during cooler months. Slow down the retrieve on artificial lures for more strikes. Greenbacks are still on the flats for live-bait anglers, but the next cold front could end that abruptly.
Safety: Fall and early winter are difficult seasons to deal with. The weather, especially the wind, can be brutal. Check the forecast thoroughly before heading to the water. Offshore anglers should always leave a float plan. Nature is a fickle entity that is full of tricks. It can be almost cruel if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, snookfish.com or (813) 310-6531.