Captain's Corner

By TROY P. SAPP, Times Correspondent
Published November 17, 2007

Cooling waters: This cold front will most likely bring the water temperatures into the mid-60s this weekend and will mark the time to start chang tactics.

Offshore anglers will see the push of baitfish and pelagic species begin to migrate south toward their winter haunts. Grouper and snapper will continue to be available in depths from 20 to 50 feet but may be more willing to feed on cut bait as their metabolism slows. Taking a little more time at each spot may be the key.

Inshore anglers still have shots at snook, trout and redfish but will find themselves fishing further back in the creeks and the bays as the fish move to more protected waters with stable water temperatures. Look for deep potholes with dark bottom and sunny, protected shorelines to produce the most action. Many times these fish will be laid up in large numbers in skinny water so a stealthy approach is best.

Tips: Slowing down presentations of your bait and using lighter line and leader material will often lead to more bites as the water is usually at its clearest in the cooler months. It is also important to try and fish those days just prior to the passage of the numerous cold fronts as the days just after the frontal passages can prove to make fishing pretty tough.

Capt. Troy P. Sapp at Fins and Tails Guide Service can be reached at (813) 920-6928.


For today's tides chart, see the weather package on 2A, or online at outdoors.tampabay.com.