tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By JIM HUDDLESTON
Published January 29, 2006


There is nothing quite like the look on a child's face when he reels in his first fish. Late winter is a great time to get out with a youngster and enjoy catching anything. With the variety of fish that eat shrimp, getting a tug on the line can be a little easier in colder months.

Spotted sea trout are staged up around most spoil islands along the Intracoastal Waterway and grass flats in 3 to 5 feet. Entrances to bayous and power plant outflows are loaded with ladyfish. These acrobatic fish put on a show most youngsters won't forget. Shallow channels leading into creek mouths are filled with sheepshead that fight hard when hooked.

When taking a youngster fishing, it's not what you catch but the action that bends the rod. A shrimp under a cork is the best all-around bait for winter angling. When floating shrimp around rocks or oysters, be sure to use enough leader so the bait rests on or near the bottom. Use brighter and larger corks so children easily can see what their bait is doing. A fishing trip with younger children doesn't need to be long. A few hours on the water is usually the maximum attention span before they get bored. The most important thing is that they have a good time and want to do it again.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at 727 439-9017 or at jim@captainhud.com