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East bay fishing report: cold fronts slow activity

Slow going. Fishing has slowed downed during the barrage of cold fronts. The water temperature is in the 50s and the fish aren't real active. Fish are just like us. They get uncomfortable and lethargic. Plus the water has gotten pretty dirty with all the wind. The best bet to catch fish during these conditions is to fish docks and deeper water.

Be sheepish. I would say the best bite has been the sheepshead. They are all over the docks and rock piles in the bay. You will want to use live shrimp, barnacles, or fiddler crabs. If fishing rock piles, use just enough weight to get it to the bottom. If you use too much weight, then it is hard to feel the bite. A small split shot is sufficient enough when fishing them on docks.

Plant one on. Another option this time of year is to fish near the TECO Big Bend Power Plant. The warm water runoff attracts all kinds of species. You can catch trout, cobia, sheepshead, pompano, sharks, and unfortunately, catfish. Try different techniques when fishing the power plant. Fish shrimp under a cork and also try another line with a small split shot. Do a slow retrieve dragging the line with the split shot across the bottom.

Bait tip. If targeting the cobia, I would have a pole rigged with a soft plastic eel. Black seems to work the best. You may want to use a little stouter rod and reel combination as well. This will help keep the cobia under control.

Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.

East bay fishing report: cold fronts slow activity 01/22/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 1:15pm]
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