With the recent cold snap at least dropping surface and near-surface water temperatures, look for hardy species at the Okaloosa Fishing Pier ó bonito and redfish and an occasional flounder or sheepshead. Whiting also should be available from the pier and surf. If it warms again, consider fishing for pompano with a jig tipped with a piece of peeled frozen shrimp tail.
Itís possible that steel wreck artificial reefs are holding amberjack. Mangrove (also known as gray or black) snapper might be among the catch. Closer in around structure or drop-offs sink bull minnows or pieces of shrimp for flounder. The East Pass jetties also are worth a try if youíre chasing flounder. The rocks could be drawing redfish, black drum, sheepshead, and bonito, too. Fish an outgoing tide, which this time of year tends to be in the morning. The mouths of canals in the bay could be holding speckled trout. Also fish creek and river mouths if specks are the target. Bridge pilings could be drawing redfish. Also look for them in deeper holes. The eastern stretch of the bay could soon start producing an occasional striped bass, or its hybrid kin, the sunshine bass.
Some offshore fishing has been happening. Amberjack remain the principal quarry. Gray or black snapper and gray triggerfish are possibles around structure, natural and artificial. Sink live bait ó pinfish work nicely, if you can find it. Otherwise, frozen baits, including shrimp, might work.