No help from weather: Good fishing comes with consistency. Long stretches of mild weather coupled with clean, moving water allow fish to settle into a feeding pattern and, in turn, allow anglers to target them more effectively. The weather pattern we're in now is more of a mixed bag. When the weather is good, it's natural to think the fishing should be as well, but most often it's those bluebird days after a cold front when fishing can be the toughest.
Get moving: Many deep grass flats all over the county are seemingly empty of trout. Without being able to pattern fish effectively due to the changing weather, you're going to have to fall back on your basic flats skills to make good decisions as you search for fish. There are plenty of fish still around, so identifying signs of life will allow you to make the decision whether to stay and fish or move to the next spot.
Find the birds: Birds of all kinds can help you find a productive shoreline. For me, the key lately has been finding the little white turns. Schools of extremely small fry bait would otherwise be hard to find. When you spot a few of these birds dipping on the edge of a flat, it might be worth your time to check it out. Cast any soft-plastic jig that has some flash to it and work it near the surface. The trout we've been catching range in size from 12 to 16 inches, not monsters, but with some effort and willingness to fish a bunch of spots a limit of fish can definitely be reached.
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 protected]