With a very cold and windy start to the week, most anglers opted for various indoor activities such as watching football or the video of our unfortunate northern neighbors freezing in subzero temperatures.
Here locally, our air temperatures have fluctuated dramatically in the past few days. This can complicate the overall fishing equation and related strategies. Winter is a tough time of the year for fishing in Tampa Bay.
Now: Hearty anglers who are brave or devoted enough have had some good catches of speckled trout. Deep holes in feeder creeks on the east side of the bay have the trout bunched up as is typical when it gets really cold outside. The creeks of upper Tampa Bay have good numbers of fish as well.
Tips: Caution! Both areas can be really tricky on extreme low tides. It is almost a certainty that one will gain knowledge as to the location of area sandbars during a winter minus tide. … Soft plastic jigs fished very slowly in the deeper holes almost always yield cold water trout and the occasional redfish. Traditional colors such as natural shrimp, green, chartreuse and white will all work on lethargic specks.
Coming: The weather is forecast to continue to improve for the next several days leading up to fishable conditions, instead of gale warnings. When things get settled down, look for reds to return to the shallows to feed and bask. Seize fishing or outdoor activity opportunity when possible. Really nice days can be few and far between this time of year.
Captain Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.