Cooling: The first major cold front of the season has brought heat relief and some nice fresh air. Typically, a week or so before Halloween we get a nice cool snap. This changes fishing conditions.
What's hot: Redfish have been swarming over almost every oyster bar and mangrove shoreline in Tampa Bay. Large aggregations of fish are roving the flats picking up dinner wherever possible.
Tip: Try throwing a piece of cutbait into the thickest mullet school you can find. On a recent outing, we crushed the redfish on torn pieces of greenbacks. The dead bait outfished the live stuff significantly. When we cleaned our reds at the end of the day, their stomachs were full of our chum pieces. We had only a few nonintended species. The occasional catfish is worth it when you are blistering the reds.
What happened? Though the weather is great, it comes with drawbacks. Wind will be a factor until spring, and fish will be on the move. Baitfish collection will become difficult. Look forward to the seasonal migration of king and Spanish mackerel. They are relatively easy to catch and are delicious in a proper smokehouse or broiled. Some people love kingfish steaks on the grill.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.