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Captain's Corner

Winter low tides combine with cold fronts to produce rewarding fishing in Tampa Bay

Change of pace: Winter low tides combined with cold fronts can produce rewarding fishing. Winds 20-plus mph out of the northeast help create a low tide that empties out of Tampa Bay and exposes every nook and cranny that reds and trout want to hang out in. Every flat has a sandbar on the outer edge. This is the "highway" fish travel on extreme low tides.

What to look for: I drive my boat to the sandbar's edge and look for cuts that lead into the flat. .Outgoing tides form a channel that the water wants to flow off. I like to find that area and target it. Redfish and trout will use the same path to travel on and off the flat.

Gear: The weather is usually cold. I wear neoprene waders, gloves, boots and belt. I use a 7-foot rod rigged with 10-pound test with 25-pound leader. Soft plastic baits on a red quarter-ounce jig head are my favorite. Crank baits and top-water plugs usually don't work because the water is so shallow. Any eel-type or grub plastic tail will. I throw the jig in the sandy areas and let it hit the bottom, creating a poof of sand that imitates a crab or shrimp.

Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at or (727) 647-7606.

Winter low tides combine with cold fronts to produce rewarding fishing in Tampa Bay 11/22/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:15am]
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