Hopefully this weekend will at the very least be acceptable for getting out on the water.
Hurricane Sandy followed by a substantial cold front has all but shut down fishing the last seven days.
Thereís no doubt that big changes have taken place. Strong north winds have dirtied our near-shore waters, putting the brakes on the awesome Spanish mackerel/kingfish bite we had last week. It will take four or five days of east winds for the water to clean back up and the bait to gather again. Look for the fish to show back up offshore where the water is cleaner. Artificial reefs 10 to 20 miles offshore will be your best bet this weekend.
Inshore, redfishing has been picking up as of late. Target morning low tides for best fishing, as the water finishes falling off your favorite flat right around sunrise, so should the redfish. Target flats that have a distinct dropoff often indicated by a slightly shallower sand bar along the edge. The deep side of the sand bar will often be made up of sparse grass, perfect bottom for bouncing soft-plastic jigs. Darker colors will typically produce better as they more accurately represent the shrimp and crabs the redfish are used to seeing.
Clear blue skies. When all the clouds finally move out and high pressure builds back in on the backside of the front, the sky is often bright blue and completely cloudless.
This might look pretty enough but can make for some tough fishing. Shallow water fish become very wary under these conditions and will often lay on the bottom motionless and wait for more favorable conditions. Slow down your presentation when casting artificial lures or switch to cut bait instead of live bait. This will give the redfish a better opportunity to find your bait. †
Until next week Ė get bent!†
Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to editorial@TBNweekly.com or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.