What's hot: High winds and high pressure have put fish off a bit this week. Water temperatures dropped into the upper 60s after the latest cold front, but with luck, we can rebound with the more stable weather on the horizon. We're still in the thick of fall baitfish season. East winds over the next several days will calm the nearshore water and stack the bait along the beach, and in turn attract kingfish, Spanish mackerel and other schooling predators.
Tips: Nearshore kingfish were available within a few hundred yards last week. Spanish mackerel and jack crevalle schools are corralling the bait and attracting big predators. Sending out fresh bait — jack crevalle, ladyfish or legal mackerel — under a balloon is a simple, effective way to hook those predators. Adding a fresh chum block and live pilchards increases your odds.
Technique: Redfish, trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and jacks can be caught at the same spot. Low morning tides have exposed grass-flat edges. Productive edges are typically marked by huge flocks of wading sea birds. Live baiting along these edges can call the fish from a great distance. Fish are looking to put on weight with leaner times ahead.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at [email protected]