Bait has made its way into the bay and the fish have been eating sardines with violent strikes. Look deep for bait, most of it has been in 20-plus feet of water. A little knowledge of how to read a bottom machine will help you secure the prized sardines. Once the well is full and you get to your fishing destination, unload a few on each side and the front of the boat. Reposition as needed to get into the hot spot. Once the bite goes off a few chummers at a time will keep the action steady. Trout have been ranging from 15 to 24 inches and snook have been 23 to 32 inches. Canít get bait? Not a problem, shrimp are still working too, especially in the morning. If an early start is in order, use shrimp under a popping cork to attract trout. Pop the cork hard enough that it sounds like a strike. This catches their attention and they see the shrimp is sitting there for easy pickings. Trout love shrimp. If you are at the bottom of the tide, donít worry. As the water stops moving it sits on the flats and heats up. When the tide starts moving, the warm water floods over the flats and into the back country, the rising water temperatures sparking an approximately 21/2-hour bite.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]