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Unfortunately, March means cold fronts and heavy winds making it difficult to fish. You can, however, use the southern winds that precede a front to your advantage. Such was the case on a recent inshore charter.

Brothers Steve and Mike Brotschol, down from the north, wanted to take in flats fishing between spring training baseball games. "There are whitecaps on the flats," I told them. "But I think with this south wind we'll cover plenty of water and do pretty good." They were up for it. "Better than shoveling snow," Steve said.

At our first stop Steve put the first fish in the boat. Using 4-inch motor-oil colored slugs with a popping cork, we threw the rig as far as we could with the wind and "popped" the rig back to the boat. Five drifts later we had our 12 keeper yellowmouth trout and our three more than 20 inches. We lost count of fish we released.

Before a front arrives, the barometric pressure begins to drop. The suction of the oncoming low pressure creates southern, windy conditions around 15 to 20 knots. The dropping pressure is like ringing a dinner bell for fish.

Be cautious on windy days. Fish in protected areas behind barrier islands and small mangrove islands. If small craft warnings are up, take heed. There's always another day.

_ Capt. Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters in St. Petersburg, (727)448-3817 or e-mail

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