GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Bill Miller.
Full-moon tides will provide good wading opportunities for anglers this week. The negative low tides caused by the moon will force flats fish like trout, reds and sheepshead into the deeper sloughs and holes, making them easy targets for anglers.
Top lures include scented soft plastics, DOA shrimp and the MirrOdine. All lures should be worked slowly because of the slower fish metabolism caused by the cold water. Live or fresh dead shrimp fished on a jig head or under a cork is the top natural bait.
Good places to wade include the Weedon Island area, Upper Tampa Bay flats around Safety Harbor, Cockroach Bay, Joes Island, Pinellas Point flats and the flats all around Fort DeSoto.
For fast, rod-bending action, look to ladyfish. A fast-moving jig will draw strikes on nearly every cast. Ladyfish, unlike trout and redfish, like a fast-moving lure. Look in the power plant outflows, canals, marinas and creeks for ladyfish. A good sign is a pelican sitting on the water in these areas.
Snook harvest, which usually begins March 1, is prohibited until Sept. 1, but catch-and-release is allowed. Fishery managers will be using this extended closure to determine the freeze damage to the snook stock.
Speckled trout season will open north of Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs on March 1, and then speckled trout will be open in all Florida regions. The statewide slot limit is 15-20 inches. Anglers may keep one trout over 20 inches as part of the daily bag limit.