Fall and winter low tides combined with cold fronts passing through can lead to highly rewarding fishing. It takes winds blowing 20-plus miles an hour out of the northeast combined with an astronomical low tide around the new moon and full moon phases. The result is a low tide that empties out of the bay and exposes every nook and cranny that reds and trout will get caught in. I drive my boat down the edge of the sandbar and look for cuts that lead into the flat. All of the flats are dry from the cold front. Strong outgoing tides form channels in which water flows through the sand bar. Redfish and trout use those same channels to travel on and off of the flat. I anchor my boat far enough away from the channel so I do not block the path of the fish and the way they want to travel. Air temperatures are usually very cold. I have a set of neoprene waders, gloves, boots, and a belt that makes it all possible to fish in the cold weather. I use a 7-foot rod rigged with 10-pound braid with 25-pound leader. Soft plastic baits on a red quarter ounce jig head are my favorite. Any eel type or grub plastic tail will work. I throw the jig in the sandy areas and let it hit the bottom every time, creating a poof of sand, imitating a crab or shrimp.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.