Weather factors: Wind and cold can make fishing challenging and unpleasant this time of year. Prepare for the elements and utilize available options for a comfortable, productive excursion.
Clothing tip: When the weather is sunny and beautiful, you can still freeze on the water. Whether fishing from the shore or a pier, or in a boat, take a jacket. The weather might seem warm at your house, but a stout breeze off the cold water at your fishing spot creates a different story.
What's hot: Residential canals offer safe harbor conditions that are usually out of the wind. This time of year, when the water temperatures drop into the low 60s, many species seek relief in Tampa Bay's canal systems. These areas typically do not experience a great deal of water exchange and therefore tend to be a few degrees warmer. The seawalls radiate heat into the water. Also, the canals usually have dark bottoms and murky water that tend to hold a little more heat and therefore attract many species.
Tactics: Live shrimp are great bait in chilly weather. They are slow and an easy target. A soft plastic jig tipped with a small piece of shrimp is an alternative.
Captain Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531, www.snookfish.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.