What's hot: Abundant baitfish has made for some good fishing. Offshore, grouper, snapper, and king and Spanish mackerel are hot on the heels of the baitfish migrating into the areas. The best grouper fishing has been from 60 to 90 feet for those seeking larger fish, but those fish will move closer in as the water warms. Mackerel fishing has improved daily, with good catches coming from right off the beach to all the hard-bottom areas and artificial reefs out to 60 feet. Live bait has produced the best catches.
Inshore, large trout have been feeding aggressively now that the sardines have moved onto the flats, with many of the fish well over 20 inches. Look for the larger fish to be in sandy potholes on the grass flats. Cast a free-lined live sardine into every pothole you see. Redfish are also becoming much more active; recent charters produced numerous over-slot fish, many of them caught on live sardines. Most of the redfish have been coming from shallow flats in small coves along the main shoreline.
Tip: Remember that only one trout longer than 20 inches per angler may be retained.
Capt. Troy P. Sapp with Fins and Tails Guide Service can be reached at (813) 920-6928.