A cool-down over the next few days will change the focus to more cooperative fish in the area. Species not normally present this late in the season such as kingfish are still hanging on. However, cooler and breezy weather will drop the water temperature enough to push migrating fish farther south, forcing anglers to target inshore species such as trout and redfish this week. As the water clears in the winter months, downsizing tackle to be less visible is necessary. Try using 10-pound main line and 20-pound leader with small No. 1 live-bait hooks. For artificials, lighter translucent colors work well over the lush grass flats for trout. Root beer-colored jigs and gold spoons can be best around oyster bars and potholes when targeting redfish. Large trout often migrate to north Pinellas this time of year. Shallow flats will hold several fish, even schools of trout trying to warm in the sun over darker bottom. Laying a free-lined shrimp in the sand holes near seawalls and oyster bars can result in a hook-up if you're patient. Redfish, sheepshead and flounder inhabit the same terrain so be ready for any of these fish to bring plenty of action.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.