The freezing temperatures of the past week are really taking a toll on the local snook population.
According from reports from all over the state, it is probably the worst snook kill statewide in my lifetime. Other fish are being killed and stunned, including spadefish, mojarra, ladyfish and many baitfish.
My locale in extreme western Manatee County never did experience sub-freezing temperatures, but the sheer length of the cold air temperatures finally drove the water temperatures to critical levels.
Thankfully, the redfish, black drum, sheepshead, sea trout, flounder, groupers and snappers have survived the cold siege and will start feeding in a big way when the weather moderates. I have witnessed many freezes in my life and the species most vulnerable to the cold have always bounced back.
Just like the red tide situation, there are always those that tout doom and gloom to the resource but it has always come back. It is depressing to witness these massive kills, and unlike those in the agriculture business who can make attempts to save their crops, we fishermen can only stand by and watch as Mother Nature takes it toll.
I am looking forward to good action with sheepies, reds, flounder, bluefish, drum and sea trout when things get back to normal in the next few weeks. The spring fishing action should be exemplary, as it usually is after a real winter in our region.
Good luck and good fishing. Be careful out there.
Capt. "Zach" Zacharias
Docked on Palma Sola Bay at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores
115th Street West and 36th Avenue, Cortez, FL 34215
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