Post-Irma conditions are hard to predict. That said, the fish still have to eat, so clean water will be the best bet. Areas with good flow should hold good numbers of fish. In 2004, when Florida experienced three hurricanes back-to-back-to-back, I, my son and one of my friends made a trek to Charlotte Harbor to check it out a week later. The aftermath was sad — busted-up mangroves that were decades old, stilt houses nearly leveled. We fished most of the day and caught fish here and there all morning. The afternoon bite was on fire with redfish and snook. Many of the changes we experienced were shifted sandbars and underwater troughs gone. Many of the mangroves were bare and twisted, and most of the community holes were destroyed. Mother Nature has a way of adjusting, cleaning and righting herself. While out, move slowly and keep your eyes open for floating debris. Anything you can imagine may be in the water hiding just under the surface. Also, once up on the flats, you may notice new troughs or the lack thereof. The fishing will return to a semi-normal state soon. You are just going to have to get out there and look for them.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.