Fishing Florida's Gulf Coast

From: Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl.
Date: 04 Nov 1999
Remote Name:


11/4/99 Fishing Report for Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl. By Capt. Dennis Royston


A few short weeks ago we asking for cool weather and boy did we get it. In the last ten days 4 cold fronts have passed through the north Tampa Bay area. Temperatures this morning at daylight were in the low 40s and a short distance north folks were scrapping frost off the windshield . By the weekend daytime highs are forecast in the mid 70s to 80 degrees.

How have these cold fronts effected the fishing? As the front passes and the wind churns the cold air into the water the fish stop eating. As the water temperature stabilizes and even warms in the days that follow the front the fish start to feed again. Three to five days as a rule. There is one exception. If you fish in an area that has a power plant that is cooled by sea water. When the power plant is running hard to provide additional power for heating it is producing hot water from the turbines. This heated water is channeled out to the gulf or bay. It is not uncommon for the water temperatures on the nearby flats to be 10 to 15 degrees warmer then water some distance away. Fish that are in the vicinity of these power plants will move into this warmer water.

Look for Jacks, Pompano, Permit, Snook, Redfish, Trout, Cobia and even Tarpon in the warm water runoff. As the sun warms the flats these fish will move out and will return as the next cold front passes.

This weekend should see the water warming. Trout will be the first fish to start feeding on the shallow flats. Don't rush out to be on the water at dawn, give the sun a chance to start warming. With the cool water you will need to slow down the speed of your lures. Start out in 4 to 6 feet over grass with jigs slowly bounced off the bottom. As the tide moves in work the areas that will barley float your boat. Cast slow moving baits like slug-o's, light spoons or top water plugs. Keep an eye open for schools of large Jacks chasing Glass Minnows or Pilchards. These fish are not picky. They will normally take thrown in there path.

Good fishin - For more information call (727)863-3204 Capt. Dennis Royston