With cold fronts starting to roll in to the Tampa Bay area, water temperatures are dropping into the mid to low 70s, which has the bite fired up inshore and offshore. Snook fishing is on fire with these cooler temps at night. We have been finding them around and up the major rivers, creeks and residential docks. A ton of smaller snook are mixed in with some over-slot snook. The best bait is still a scaled sardine or whitebait, with a white 4-inch jerk bait coming in second. The redfishing is just starting to get better on the flats. I look for mullet schools in 1 to 3 feet of water. Use your trolling motor to get in position and set up. Best are live baits such as sardines or pinfish or artificials such as jerk baits or paddle tail jigs. Fall always means big schools of mackerel in the bay and off the beaches along with some drag screaming fun. I use a 2X long shank hook in a 3/0 with a short piece of 60- or 80-pound fluorocarbon leader.
Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.