Cooler Temps are here, and this is shaping up to be a chilly fall season for the Tampa Bay area. For all of you visiting this season from anywhere other than Florida, it will probably feel quite warm. The daytime highs in the 70s is cool for us. However, big changes occur when the water temps drop from the steady low 80s to below 70, which is where we are today. The cycle between fronts will determine everything about the fishing. If we have a warm week-long stretch, then we can catch lots of snook again. If the fronts keep coming and the water stays in the 60s, we will target grouper and sheepshead on the reefs, and other fish in the backcountry. There is always something to target.
Change of Focus to Different Species
We have been enjoying catches of dozens of snook per outing, redfish, kingfish, tarpon, etc etc. Now with the latest cold front passing, our tactics and targets will shift again. The colder water temps will congregate the inshore species snook, trout, redfish, jacks, etc into backwaters with no current flow. Some of these areas will hold hundreds of fish. This makes for lots of catching when the bite is on. Another hot bite will be the big breeder sheepshead. The cooler temps cause these tasty fish to gather for spawn. The bigger ones will go 5 to 10 pounds and will put up a great fight on light gear. They are fun for kids and challenging enough for the expert angler to enjoy. We will also be targeting grouper over the next month as they move into shallower water to feed.
Great Weather and Easy Fishing
The winter months will yield our most comfortable days and some fun easy fishing. Many spots can be fished with artificial lures, and sometimes the fish are caught on every cast! Florida is usually the warmest spot in the lower 48 during the winter months. The fishing is great, cooler temps are enjoyable, and the waters aren’t really all that crowded. It lines up well for a great experience on the water.