We have enjoyed unseasonably warm weather for several weeks now. Many of the inshore species that were beginning to retreat to their winter oasis’s returned to more typical hangouts of fall and in some cases, summer. Meteorologists are forecasting a significant change for the weekend with both day- and nighttime temperatures dropping nearly 15 degrees. With the fish scattered about their seasonal ranges, both the fisher and fish alike will certainly be confused.
Residential canal systems will offer protection from the wind for the angler and insulate water depths for cold-blooded fish. Barnacle encrusted docks and docks with moored sailboats located in the western-most canals are likely to hold fish as the front passes.
With the increasing winds, availability of live shrimp may be limited. Most area tackle shops will keep shrimp that have died in holding pens and sell them either fresh or frozen. A live shrimp is preferred, but not always necessary. Live or dead, remove the tail fins from the shrimp to prevent the shrimp from spinning and to allow further casting. Tail hook the shrimp with a #1 live bait hook. The key is to fish with just enough weight to reach the bottom under these structures. When properly presented under cool conditions, shrimp will produce a variety of species to include redfish, trout, snook, black drum, sheepshead, snapper and jacks.
Capt. Robert McCue can be reached at (800) 833-0489 or through his website www.GiantTarpon.com