For those of us being plowed under by our long winter and considering a fishing trip to Florida, which has been hit by cold and snow too, Capt. Tony Petrella sent an update.
Here's his assessment of the good and bad:
I just wanted to let you and your readers know that despite the abnormally cold temperatures that have gripped the country this winter--including Florida--there still are plenty of fish to catch down here on the southwest Gulf coast.
We did have a die-off of jack crevalle and snook during the worst of the cold snap in mid-January, but the total numbers amounted to just about five percent of the total biomass among those two species.
Fortunately, redfish and spotted sea trout, especially, are more tolerant of below-normal water temps.
We've done well recently on reds, trout, ladyfish, and even jumped a few juvenile tarpon in the backcountry when the wind wasn't blowing too hard.
Actually, wind has been the biggest problem lately. We'll see if the Weather Guessers are right in their forecast of more normal weather patterns within the week!
Capt. Tony Petrella
Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor