The fishing out of Hernando Beach has been fantastic, and I expect 2014 to give anglers another great year of fishing. Mother nature gave anglers some great fishing conditions last week, and the bite was hot. We had to deal with some low tides which made it difficult to navigate these shallow rocky waters at times. There are many elements I consider when planning a trip, and what the daily tidal pattern is often dictates where I fish and what species I will target.
The next few months will bring some productive fishing as long as anglers adjust their strategy according to the conditions. The tides and water temperature will determine where the fish will be. If our area has a cold front move through causing the water temperature to drop, I often move closer to the springs and in the rivers. If we have a warming trend (like last week), then expect fish to move out a little.
Be ready to try a variety of baits and lures to find out what the fish want. I always bring a few dozen select shrimp on trips this time of year because that usually works, but there are days I have more success with white GULP shrimp, Mirro-dines, Lil John jerk baits, and top water plugs like a Rapala skitter walk. Changing colors, lures, or the speed of your retrieve can make the difference when trying to get these fish to eat so be ready to try different tactics.
Good luck out there and tight lines!
Capt. Keith Tomlinson owns Bulldog Fishin Charters, operating out of Hernando Beach. Contact him at www.bulldogfishin.com or (352) 238-3581.