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Old Man Winter is definitely making his presence felt in South Florida. Cold front after cold front have been pushing their way through our area and each one is dropping our temperatures down a bit more. For many, this is a welcome relief from the summer heat. For others, its something that has to be tolerated, but they prefer the warm climate that South Florida normally offers. The good news is that it only lasts a few days and our temperatures climb back quickly to a more comfortable range.

For our friends up North, however, the cold grip of winter lasts much longer and snow, ice, and blustery wind conditions become daily hazards that have to be dealt with. After a while it's time for a break and we welcome you to South Florida for a vacation from the cold weather.

What these cold fronts do for us is jump start our winter fishery. And that's just what they have been doing. Offshore, we are seeing more and more kingfish and sailfish. Dolphin continue to push south past our area seeking warmer water. This gives us good action as the winds associated with the fronts will kick up the seas and the fish just love the addition aeration in the water. Kite fishing becomes the most popular method for seeking sailfish action. Flatlines catch their fair share of sails also. Kingfish and dolphin aren't very choosey and will hit baits on the kite, flatlines, downrigger, or bottom rod.

Closer to shore and right off the beaches, spanish mackerel become a target for many. We've already had a few runs of these tasty speedsters. Fishing an 8, 10, or 12 pound spinning outfit will give anyone lots of fun and enjoyment. When the spanish are about, the action becomes fast and furious in a hurry.

Now let's move right in on the beach around the Inlets and into the Bay. The cold fronts and associated winds do wonderful things in this area also. They get the shrimp up and moving. Shrimpers brave the blustery conditions from their boats, seawalls, jetties, docks, and bridges to dip up their fair share of these tasty crustaceans. The fish also take notice of the shrimp moving and that brings us to my favorite fish the mighty TARPON. Also known as the silver king, these fabulous fish will test your tackle and angling skills to the max. Whether the fish is 30 or 150 pounds or anywhere in between, from the initial strike through the long hard powerful runs, giant leaps into the air, stubborn down deep fighting, and a never give up attitude you'll listen to the reel scream and you'll be tested both physically and mentally before bringing the fish along side for a few pictures and release. After catching one, it's a quick set up again to try for another and don't be surprised if it happens before you've hardly had a chance to catch your breath.

Last night, we had another successful evening of tarpon fishing at the Inlet. Not only did we catch tarpon, we saw then rolling, marked them on the recorder, and watched one jump completely out of the water as it exploded on shrimp that it was feeding on. And yes, we also saw shrimp moving in the water.

The winter tarpon season is here and it will continue on through the end of June. That may seem like a long time, however, the time will fly by very quickly and I'm already starting to book tarpon dates, so get your trip scheduled early before you forget and miss out on challenging this mighty fish. I'm also starting to book dates for offshore trips too. For those who have a limited time schedule and would like to catch both the sailfish and tarpon in the same day, you might want to consider an afternoon/evening trip or as I refer to it, the best of both worlds.

Booking a trip is very easy, just email me at nkostyo@bellsouth.net or call me at 305 965-9454.

As we get toward the end of December, the college football season will end with many many bowl games across our great country. This year we are very fortunate to have both the Orange Bowl game (Jan 1, 2009) and the FedEx BCS Championship Game (Jan 8, 2009). South Florida will host many fans from the teams of both games. To the teams from Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, and Florida I say congratulations on your achievements. To the fans of these teams who will be attending the games, thanks for coming down and visiting our area. There are many sites and things to do and see, but most of all, make plans to take advantage of our great fishing. Come down a day earlier or stay a day later and schedule a fishing trip. Not only will you have memories of your team's victory, but additional memories of catching fish species that you don't have back home.

Captain Dave Kostyo

Knot Nancy Fishing Charters, Inc.

305-965-9454 cell

305-620-5896 charter

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