Don't fret the cold. We got our real first taste of winter this week, but lucky for us we live in Florida. This weekend will shape up to be pretty nice, with the highs climbing back to the 80s. This is perfect fall fishing weather. Most of the algae have died off and it will allow you to sight-cast fish. This time of year you might find it hard to fish with live scaled sardines, especially if you like to chum with them. The birds are really bad and will attack most bait swimming around on a hook.
Look for snook. The snook bite is really starting to take off and should be even better after this cold front. They have made their transition into their winter holes and are eating. When fishing with live bait, I have found that a slow retrieve works best.
Redfish rules. You will still be able to find nice schools of redfish throughout upper Tampa Bay. Cut pinfish or ladyfish sitting on the bottom has produced the best catches. The key is patience. Allow your cut bait to sit in the sand holes and the redfish will find it. If you like to sight-cast redfish, now is the time. Try using artificial baits like a plastic shrimp or paddle-tail shad. Slowly work it in front of the fish to initiate a strike.
Trout about. Speckled trout are piling up in the deeper holes on low tide. There are a lot of smaller ones mixed in but just work through them to get to the keepers. Shrimp and scaled sardines fished on a No. 1 hook have been the ticket to catching them.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.