© St. Petersburg Times, published February 24, 2002
Fishing seems to be on the same yo-yo as the weather. Warm, sunny days bring good action, and cold, windy conditions slow the bite.
If you have fished lately and been disappointed, don't be too discouraged; you are not alone. We are in a period of transition, and it takes extra work sometimes. The key is to stay on top of the fish and their movements. Sometimes they seem to be just as confused as we are. Is it spring, or is it winter?
Try to keep moving until you find concentrations of feeding fish. Inshore anglers will find artificial lures an invaluable tool for searching. Jigs, spoons and plugs allow you to cover more water and all depths of the water column. Methodically work a point, edge or pothole in a flat before moving. If you find fish, switching to live bait may turn them on.
Adapting to changing conditions has increased productivity on recent trips. Be prepared to shift from open grass flats to mangroves and oyster bars, then to residential docks and canals as the weather dictates. Staying flexible will result in a successful day.
Most importantly, keep scouting new areas each time you are on the water, and take time to try something different on every trip. Branching out will increase your knowledge and keep you fishing through the difficult days and make the good days better.
-- Capt. Brent Gaskill charters the Summer Vacation out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 343-1765 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.