Log in Subscribe

Warmer water temperatures mean better fishing


Fishing action in the area was pretty decent for most of the past week. For once, we had a string of mild and calm days that were very fishable. Once again, the weather gurus are predicting rainy and windy weather going into the weekend, followed by another cold spell starting on Super Bowl Sunday.


Water temperatures are so critical this time of year. The frigid water from the big chill had started to moderate nicely, but suffered another setback with several cold nights in the first week of February. The length of the day helps substantially to perk up piscatorial appetites, though. The days are nearly an hour longer than they were back at Christmas.


The bulk of the action for my clients and me was with speckled trout, redfish, sheepshead and black drum.


The trout ran in size from 10 to 12 inchers up to some nice specimens around the 20-inch mark. Live shrimp and a variety of soft-bodied plastic jigs did the trick with the trout. An incoming tide seemed to produce best, and the specks were found in a variety of locations from the open flats of Sarasota and Palma Sola bays to backwater bayous and cuts. The presence of glass minnows in the area is a big key to finding the fish.


The reds, drum, and sheepshead were all found tight to deep dock structure and taken with live shrimp. At the start of last week the reds came on really strong and then waned a bit, but the sheepshead took up the slack considerably by week's end.


There has also been good sport with jumbo ladyfish and bluefish. Since the January freeze I have not encountered any pompano but they should be coming on strong with the longer days headed in to spring.


I have not plied the Gulf reefs much due to the windy conditions and frequent fronts caused by "El Meano." The water out there doesn't have much of a chance to settle and clear.

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


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.