Changing weather shuts down some angling opportunities but opens others.
Wind and cool temperatures slow most shallow-water fishing to a crawl. The combination of cold front, full moon and strong morning ebb tides, however, touches off the passage of huge schools of mullet from backwaters to the gulf. Predators follow and tend to feed heavily.
This is an excellent opportunity for the land-based angler. Just before and after sunrise, casting swimming plugs uptide of bridges draws strikes from a variety of fish. It is not unusual to catch snook, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish and trout in the same area. Some blues run 5-10 pounds and give a tremendous battle on light tackle.
Once the sun is up, the action moves deeper. Then it is best to work the downtide side of the bridge with shad-tailed jigs. Let them sink deep, then retrieve, stop and go. Fish also feed uptide in daylight but are difficult to keep out of structure when hooked on deep running lures.
The autumn mullet run also brings action to sea walls, especially those with a brisk current. Look for fish striking or mullet jumping and work lures with the tide.
Commercial cast-netters may crowd you a bit. Try to be understanding; for many, the fall mullet run is their only big payday all year.
_ Capt. Archie Giannella charters out of Tampa on The Noble Neil and can be reached at (813) 251-5512 or by e-mail at CaptArchiemindspring.com.