March roared in like a lion this past week with a series of passing cold fronts. As it has throughout most of winter, the water temperatures remained unseasonably moderate throughout the week.
Consistent cool water is the key to outstanding sheepshead fishing. Overall the winter has been mild and typical winter sheepshead fishing has been inconsistent. Weekend nighttime temperatures are forecasted to drop into the low forties. The combination of cool water and the new moon this weekend will likely serve as catalysts in tightening up the last concentrations of the spawning porgies for the winter of 2008.
Both snook and spotted sea trout opened on March first for the North Suncoast region. While the tides will be favorable for snook over the weekend, the cold front will keep the snook bite to a minimum. Trout are more accommodating to cooler water temperatures. Many trout remain just inside the rivers and deeper creeks. In these areas, a live shrimp fished under barnacle-encrusted docks are near certain to produce trout, sheepshead and the occasional snook over the next several days.
Capt. Robert McCue can be reached through his website www.GiantTarpon.com or at (800) 833-0489.