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Tough conditions have humbled anglers. We faced almost unimaginable conditions Saturday and Sunday. One option on really windy days is residential canals.

Most canal systems offer decent winter fishing. Species include sheepshead, redfish, black drum, mangrove snapper and an occasional snook.

Most are concentrated on the docks. Fishing these areas requires patience. Dock lines, oysters and big scary dogs complicate things. Use live shrimp with a split shot for tackle. Medium spinning equipment is preferred.

Try to cast accurately under the dock and let it sit with a tight line against the shot. Set the hook immediately upon any indication of a strike. Dock inhabitants are notorious for stealing bait. Slow down as the water cools.

Backwaters have been holding a few late-season snook. The redfish are eager to eat almost any artificial or live bait. Be cautious of motion if you are wading or in a boat. Even a small wave can spook fish. If you are in a boat, be conscientious of the tides. A cold night can seem long if you get stranded.

_ Ed Walker charters out of Palm Harbor. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail