Nature Coast waters for the most part are above the climatologically defined freeze line that runs across the state. This means we get water temperatures much lower than the more tropical waters to our south. With the now weekly frontal passages, it is necessary to understand the effects these systems have on the fish in our area.
Best times: Most approaching cold fronts will bring shifting winds that will start from southeast to southwest and then west. These prefrontal conditions with the southerly component winds offer warmer air temperatures, higher tides and a fluctuating barometer. Planning around these days will increase your opportunities substantially.
Lesser times: The defined wind increase and shift to a northerly component typically brings much colder air and rough sea conditions after the front passes. The rapid drop in water temperatures along with high barometric pressure will make the fish lethargic and difficult to locate as they seek out warmer water until they can adjust to the sudden changes.
Tips: We have two power plants with warm water discharges on the Nature Coast, along with many warm-water springs in our numerous creeks and rivers. Keep these in mind when you may not be able to get out on the better days.
Capt. Troy P. Sapp with Fins and Tails Guide Service can be reached at (813) 920-6928.