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Work the water temperature

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Staff Photo by Brett A. Clark Mike Sweeney, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011.

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, May 26, 2018

This time of year the water temperatures move up or down daily with fluctuations as large as 10 degrees is a few hours but if you know how to read the temps and use them to your advantage you can increase your catch ratio and find the fish you want.

If you are fishing offshore the you will always hear about the temperature break that runs along the gulfstream.

This is a very distinct line of water that is usually easy to find with two different colors running side by side and if you look at the temperature on your electronics you will see a drastic difference in just a few yards.

On one side of the line it could be 65 degrees but just across the color break it could be 80.

This drastic difference is where the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current meet which causes this line of temperature difference and that is where the fish are.

Closer to shore the water temps are affected by the wind a lot with a north wind blowing the warm surface water into the beach and raising the temps while a south wind does the opposite and cools the beach.

You can be fishing the end of a pier in the morning with 75 degree water and the wind will switch to the south.

The water can cool to 60 by dinner time and the fish will turn off.

Before you go fishing on the beach check the water temp reports and look at the wind direction to give you an idea of what will happen when you get there.

If you are cobia fishing which is red hot right now you can scoop our different water temperatures in different depths of water while you are scouting for the fish.

Once you see a fish check your depth and temps out then try to stay in that area to look for other fish. Cobia like warmer water so the difference between 70 and 73 could make or break your day.

The largemouth and crappie are really particular on water temps with the fish sometimes suspending at certain temps to be more comfortable.

If you catch a bass in 5 feet of water then work all your baits in that depth till they change.

The crappie will suspend on structure sometimes as deep as 30 feet in order to be in the best temp for that time of year or they may be in a bush in 3 feet of water for the spawn.

Water temperatures are as important as clarity or current so make sure when you working on your pattern for the day to pay attention to the water temps and use this to your advantage.

What’s biting, where...

The fishing reports for the offshore guys are one of legend with huge big eye tuna coming into the marinas along with nice limits of mahi along with good numbers of yellowfin and blackfin.

This is about as good as it gets right now so if you have a boat to get out do so and if you don’t then call your favorite marina and book a boat while they are on the bite.

Close to shore we are all about the cobia who showed up a couple of weeks ago but are thick as thieves right now.

Fish are up to 50 pounds coming to scouting boats with jigs and several releases are also behind them.

Multiple fish days are not uncommon so get on the water and get up high to see just how many fish are here right now.

On the beaches the mullet bite has moved into the northern piers and sandbars with Fish Bites being the bait of choice.

The cool thing about fishing these baits is they are tough as nails and the skates stay off the hook while you are fishing them.

There is also a black drum bite close to shore and in the surf and the blues are still around for those throwing metal baits. The point closed this week so make sure you check with the park service before you try to drive down to go fishing.

Locally we are still on a great largemouth bite with the fish in a post spawn mode and feeding heavy in the shallow structure.

Soft plastics flipped to the wood and stumps are paying off but the top water bite is the best way to scout for them now.

Fish the banks with a fast moving top water until you get a strike then slow down and work the area slowly with the pitching baits.

White perch and crappie are still up shallow also so white Beetle Spins and Uncle Jessie lures tipped with shrimp are your best bets. If anyone gets out this week let me know by send a report to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

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