Though it’s still a lot milder than the north, this has been the coldest winter I’ve experienced in Florida as one cold front after another drives early morning temperatures down to the forties. Fortunately, it usually warms up later in the morning and there’s been no fish kills which occur when there are longer periods of very cold temperatures.

It just doesn’t seem to be right to wear long pants in Florida. I live in AFTCO shorts which also permit me to wade into the the largemouth bass ponds I fish in Ft. Myers in order to untangle larger bass that get tangled in reeds as I try to drag them through — while hoping that an alligator doesn’t appear and have to choose between the bass and me.

Bob Correll of Bay Head doesn’t have to worry about that problem while casting from a beach near his Hutchinson Island home as large quantities of small bait have been drawing Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, and now also bluefish right to the beach for hot action.

Vinny D’Anton of Wall has been wading in waters near his Sarasota winter home to consistently release spotted sea trout and ladyfish every morning while wading and casting such lures as the Z Man paddletails, DOA Shrimp and MirrOlures.

The Big Mohawk from Belmar had good conditions in west winds yesterday, but blackfish didn’t respond. That wind direction will prevail for some time and permit tog fishing to continue. Small craft warnings remain up, but drop a bit tomorrow to 15 to 20 knots plus higher gusts from the west.

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