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East bay fishing report for Jan. 1

East Bay Fishing Report

Weather worry: The recent frontal activity should shut down the snook bite that has remained strong all month. The bite has been more like March than December, and if we do not get some cold weather, it'll be summer soon.

Bait: Artificials are hard to beat as the weather cools. Look for trout to begin to funnel into their wintertime hangouts and feed well on the strongest flow of the tide. Most shad tail type baits work well, as do jerk-worms and any walk-the-dog top-water plug. Top-waters in the early morning, worked along a deeper flat edge, can result in fantastic explosive strikes. Once a fish strikes keep the plug moving, often times they miss and will come back if they have a moving target. The smaller plugs seem to work better for trout and the larger ones for the redfish.

Red alert: Redfish should be receptive to most of the same baits, just add a gold spoon to the arsenal. Look for mullet and work around the schools. Even if they are way out in a seemingly random spot, try it. Wading is a great way to approach in stealth, especially if your running a bay boat. Get close to the a bar and nose the boat up. Set your anchor or anchoring system and walk to the fish. I carry a couple of jig heads, a length of leader, some clippers, jig bodies and a gold spoon in a pocket for a quick change or retie.

Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or

East bay fishing report for Jan. 1 12/29/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 2:13pm]
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