What's hot: The first half of February has been phenomenal for inshore fishing. That being said, the cold front pushing through this weekend might put a damper on things for 3-4 days. Luckily, the bite has been better in the afternoon, when the water and air temperature have warmed up a bit.
Tactics: The bite on the incoming tide has been the best. You want to fish the flats outside the passes and creek mouths until you have enough water to move in. Using shrimp has produced a good bite on trout, small redfish and sheepshead. If you are lucky enough to find scaled sardines, use them. Fishing with them has produced some great catches of bigger fish.
What to seek: The snook bite is firing off like it is spring. They are blowing up on the scaled sardines we spray out with our chum bat. There have been multiple catches of about 15 pounds. Redfish are holding tight under the mangrove trees as the tide rises. If you are unable to get your bait under the branches, try throwing some chummers out. This pulls them out into the open water. To top it off, the trout bite has been the best. Just look for a little deeper water when you are targeting them. They seem to be most happy in depths of 3-4 feet.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.