Each month I field a question from a reader and answer it as best I can, focusing on those inquiries and responses that I believe will be of general benefit or interest. I recently received this email from Ted in south Georgia, who asks: “What’s your favorite time of day to fish shallow water in Florida?”
That’s a deceptively simple question, since the time of day I prefer to fish changes with the seasons. Of course, in southwest Florida we essentially have two seasons: summer and winter. (That’s generalizing things, but it’s fairly accurate). During the long summer months when the sun is relentless, I prefer to fish early and late in the day, with the two hours after sunup and the two hours before sunset accounting for most fish. In the winter time, once the weather (and water) cools significantly and stays that way for weeks on end, I prefer to fish late morning until late afternoon, since fish in the skinny stuff tend to get more active once the sun is overhead and warming things up. Of course, there are times when all of this fine logic amounts to a hill of beans, and you catch fish in defiance of the clock. But as a rule of thumb, the aforementioned approach will serve you well down this way.