tampabay.com

Captain's Corner

By ROBERT McCUE, Times Correspondent
Published January 31, 2008


Unyielding winds have kept us close to the shorelines in an effort to weatherproof the day. Timely inshore species have finally infiltrated the back country. These two events have been staple in achieving wintertime success.

The bag: Low water periods have led us to the deeper holes and pockets found in creeks, rivers and under residential docks. Live shrimp fished on the bottom haveproduced redfish, trout, black drum, mangrove snapper and sheepshead. On the turn of the flood, redfish are being found along the edges of back-country flats.

Pro logic: Sight-casting redfish in inches of water is the apex of winter flats fishing. While this challenge is often the quest of seasoned anglers, it is not always the best with the casual angler. A dynamic yet lax approach is to anchor and fish with fresh dead bait. Area tackle shops get the nod for fresh shrimp. Savvy anglers, however, will spend some time jigging up a few ladyfish as their preferred cut bait. The scent of an oily ladyfish will often produce when all else fails.

Robert McCue can be reached at gianttarpon.com or (800) 833-0489.