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Arrival of cold weather has big effect on fishing


A perfectly good week was interrupted by a perfectly dismal Wednesday.

After cancelling my charter for the day we spent the day cooped up indoors peeling potatoes and chopping onions for the Turkey Day dinner.

Up to the El Nino-style low pressure preceding the cold front, the action had been good with diverse catches depending on where you opted to fish. Trips out in the Gulf had been giving up numerous grouper, spanish mackerel, a few straggler kingfish, flounder, snapper, shark and bonito.

On the inshore scene there was still scattered snook and redfish action along with flounder and pompano. The hard cold front dragged in by the passing low pressure storm will change the complexion of angling dramatically. The pelagic run in the Gulf will more than likely come to an abrupt end and the precipitous drop in inshore water temperatures will probably bunch up the inshore species, drop them into their deeper, warmer, winter hidey holes.

Up until now most of the flats species have been scattered all over from hell to breakfast but the dropping temperatures will cause them to concentrate and become easier targets than they have been. White bait will become increasingly hard to get, resulting in anglers opting for live shrimp and artificial lures for the remainder of the winter. Sheepshead are on the verge of becoming a major target species for the making of a fish fry and redfish, black drum and snapper should be found lurking around docks and highly structured areas of the back bays.

Winter patterns can actually be highly productive for numbers of fish taken on a given day. Snook season comes to a close for us in December and trout continue closed until the first of the year. The trout fishing has been really good so going into the new year it  should be very productive for anglers in the west central region.

Good luck and good fishing. Be careful out there!

Capt. "Zach" Zacharias

(941) 795-5026

E-mail: zachap@aol.com

Docked on Palma Sola Bay at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores

115th Street West and 36th Avenue, Cortez, FL 34215


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