After many beautiful days in a row, there have been some windy days. But for the most part, the weather has allowed for reasonable boating and fishing conditions. Cabin fever can get real bad this time of year. The beautiful days are a good cure if you can break away from responsibility.
What's hot: Speckled trout and redfish are returning to the shallows and have been quite cooperative. On the nice days, the afternoon fishing has been the time of the best bite. Water temperatures are above normal and have activated the usually lethargic fish. The water temperature in Tampa Bay has reached the low 70s.
Tip: The use of ultralight gear will make subtle strikes more likely to be detected. Using light equipment also increases the fun factor.
Options: If it is windy, residential canals can be very productive in the fish department as well as offering a buffer from stout breezes. Live shrimp fished close to or under docks will do the trick. Downtown Tampa and the adjacent Hillsborough River have been holding cool water snook. Both areas offer relief from the wind as well.
Seasonal: It is that time of year again for seasonal maintenance. Whether outboards or reels, it is time now to service these items before the shops get slammed at the beginning of the spring season.
Captain Dave Walker charters out of Tampa Bay and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at fishontampabay.com.