Open those presents. This weekend should be the perfect opportunity to try out your new fishing equipment you received over the holidays. These small cold fronts that push down and last only a couple of days are great for fishing. The only thing to remember is that the bite may happen a little later in the day.
Early birds. I have found that the fish like to sun themselves on the sand first thing in the morning. As the tide and sun get higher, the fish have become more active, chasing live scaled sardines.
Hook snook. The snook bite continues to be good as they fatten up for winter. I have seen more 40-inch fish piled up together this last month than I have seen in years. The water is pretty clear right now so downsize your leader to 20 pounds. This will allow for more hookups.
Look out for trout. It took a while, but the big speckled sea trout are starting to show up. It was just this past week that we caught 40 or more over 20 inches. They were holding in about 3 feet of water. The bite didn't turn on until later in the day with an incoming tide. The bait of choice was a scaled sardine free-lined.
Cobia catch. Another popular winter species is also showing up in good numbers around Apollo Beach. Cobia are cruising the flats. We have been catching them on a 7-inch plastic eel. Place your bait well in front of the fish and twitch it as it approaches.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.