What's hot: Blustery conditions are typical this time of year, so expect nasty weather leading up to Thanksgiving. Strong cold fronts are a game changer this time of year, making baitfish and other species difficult to find. With stout winds, especially from the north, the bay can change dramatically. On extreme low tides, redfish have been bunching together in "skinny" water on the flats. Potholes or depressions on the flats can be potential gold mines. It can be very difficult to navigate into the extreme shallows with conventional bay-style boats, so kayaks or canoes can be especially effective.
Tip: We are in a time of extreme fluctuations in weather and fish patterns. Migratory forces are at work as well as meteorological ones. Trout will bunch up in deeper holes and some residential canals. They don't seem to mind the cold too much. Other fish that cooperate when it gets chilly are sheepshead, black drum, flounder and, for a few more days, gag grouper.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.