On the hook. Bait has begun to make a showing on local grass flats, and everyone wants to know where it is. If you keep a good logbook, you can look back and find the areas where you have already found success.
Look for snook. Once bait is located, another look at the log should tell you where the hot early-season snook bite is. Recently, we have been catching upward of 40 snook per trip. A blacked-out well isn't a must; you can chum with only a few bait at a time to get them going and keep them interested. I use the bigger baits for chum — they flirt with them while trying to engulf them, and it makes for a good show.
Trout about. Big trout also have made an appearance in the southern part of the bay. Again, white bait is the key as is a look back at the old logbook. Trout are great table fare and are plentiful once a pod is found. The big ones are quite a challenge to bring in because their mouths are so soft.
Return of the macks. Mackerel also have been spotted in the bay. For new anglers, these are super cooperative once located and will provide nonstop action for as long as the tide is moving. Spring has sprung; it's game time.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]