Winds are finally subsiding this week. Though wind has hampered fishing in many areas, adjusting to the elements is key to finding fish and staying safe. Kingfish and mackerel are here, and the lighter winds will let boaters troll nearshore wrecks and reefs, looking for bait schools getting attacked by birds. Slow troll live threadfins or sardines to find where the kings are holding. After a few bites, anchor and begin chumming with cut baits and a chum bag. Cast out flatlines with lightwire and a 2/0-3/0 live bait hook, then wait for kingfish and mackerel. This brings the fish to you. Snook, redfish and trout are the main focus inshore. Snook are making their way to passes and nearby beaches. Numbers will continue to increase over the next few weeks as the days stay warm and the winds decrease. Early in spring, less wary snook explode on handfuls of chummed sardines, giving up their location. If fishing in current, cast uptide and let the bait drift naturally to the fish. Trout are holding in the same locations as snook along beach cuts and rocky structures. Redfish are responding best around stronger moon phases, schooling along the mangroves on the higher tides. Mullet schools have also held larger reds. Gold spoons worked through large mullet schools will get chased and hit by these big reds. Anglers can catch mid-slot fish as well.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.