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Wind, clouds and choppy waters greeted us Friday morning. Not Captains Steven’s favorite conditions. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of experience fishing Tampa Bay in tuff conditions allows this Capt. to tuck up into quality spots out of the winds (in most cases). Readers that follow my reports and feature articles now I spend a lot of time scouting just these types of areas for windy winter days.

Catching bait has changed; for starters I put on waterproof bib overalls along with a waterproof jacket. Getting wet is no longer an option as it is most of the year. Dressing in layers is a must along with breathable water proof pants and jackets. The water temperature was a nippy 64 degrees. Gortex is a great material for anglers, golfers, hunters etc. Trust me getting wet can ruin your day.

The winds forecasted at 15 quickly became 20+ and put a damper on most options. We took cover in Tierra Verde on one of my favorite redfish locations. With good friend Dave onboard I really wanted to get him on the 30” + redfish this area typically holds. It was not to be, a couple of hits and nothing to show for our efforts was not a good sign. We moved a few hundred yards and found flounder, lizard fish and that was it. Next move we were able to get on some small grouper which were very aggressive.

The winds were really howling and we decided to call it a day. It was really ruff even in semi protected areas. Had I known we were going to have 20-25 mph winds we would have cancelled the day. Saturday, Sunday and Monday look great for getting on the water. Look for the water temperatures to quickly climb back into the upper 60 to near 70 and turn on the snook bite. Stay tuned for updates.

Capt. Steven

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