What's hot: Sunrise action for redfish, trout, ladyfish and jacks has been exceptional to start August. A glut of mature baitfish and a new hatch of small baitfish have jump-started the action.
Tackle and techniques: The best thing to do is start fishing before sunrise. Topwater lures and plastic tails on light jigheads are perfect options. The second most important item is to be around baitfish. Areas with some current and sea grass bottom are the most likely locations to find sardines and other baitfish schools. Surface splashes or hovering birds will help locate the baitfish schools. The final "top tip" is moving your lures very slowly. The warm water of summer translates to lethargic fish. Run lures the minimum speed to keep them swimming just above the bottom. Ladyfish, trout and jacks continue to feed on the artificial lures well into the morning. Redfish action is usually best before 9:30 a.m., but you might be able to still catch natural baits late into the morning. Cast up toward a shoreline and left motionless, redfish will eat fresh bait when they may not chase and attack a lure. In areas with many baitfish schools, it is not unusual to catch this variety of species in one location.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.
Stephen F. Holder