What's hot: Nearshore fishing for Spanish mackerel, silver trout, speckled trout and bluefish has been spectacular. Last week's strong east winds dirtied many inshore flats where redfish and trout had held, but thanks in part to high-rise condominium buildings, beach waters remained clean and fishable.
Tactics: Few signs better indicate feeding fish and/or schools of baitfish than diving pelicans and dipping terns. Hordes of small minnows have pushed up to our shallow beaches as well as inshore, and the birds as well as fish are fattening up. Anchor in the same area as the birds, use light to medium-sized tackle and make long, downwind casts with quarter- to half-ounce white buck tail or Mylar jigs. Use a speedy retrieve and impart plenty of action.
Tip: When targeting beachside silver and speckled trout, try Gulp! Shrimp in pearl white, use a quarter-ounce jig head and retrieve slower. These schools can be located by areas of slightly discolored water.
What else?: Redfish schools are settled on many no-motor zone flats. Cast gold spoons ahead of the school on the incoming tide. Once the tide is up, these fish settle along the edges and tops of almost any oyster mound along the mangrove shoreline; this is when a live select shrimp under a float is hard to beat.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 or via e-mail email@example.com.