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Daily fishing report
By PAUL HAWKINS
Published January 27, 2005
This past weekend's cold front sent water temperatures plummeting. But sunny days and light winds have warmed the flats and put reds and trout on the move.
If the warming trend continues, expect snook to move out of their deep haunts and onto dark bottom shallows to soak up the warmth. If you have a favorite canal, stick with it. They won't move all at once.
Tailing reds on the turn of the low tide has been the highlight. A silent approach offers the anglers on the skinny flats a chance to match wits with 30-inch fish in less than a foot of water. Motor oil jigs, gold spoons and dark crab fly patterns have been great.
Live shrimp cast tailless are awesome baits, too, but don't track as true in the wind. So stay low as you move closer. Reds have great sniffers and can hone in on a live bait easily. But they also have great eyesight and can pick up the flash of a moving rod or bait.
Trout have been the mainstay as the tide rises. Many artificial baits worked top to bottom in the water column have been productive. Depths of 2-4 feet seem to hold the larger fish now. Some of the new rat-tail jigs have proved worthy on the gator trout as they prepare to spawn. But don't overlook the tried and true grub tail jigs and noisy topwaters.
Paul Hawkins charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at 727 560-6762 or at firstname.lastname@example.org