Spotted seatrout fishing has been very good over the last several days and we should expect more of the same with good weather and tides this week. Concentrating on the many spoil islands that dot the Intracoastal waterway we've been finding schools of adult trout willing to eat on both the incoming and outgoing tides this week. Free-lining medium to large pilchards with the current on the deep side of the islands has been the most productive pattern, and we have also used select shrimp fished the same way with good success when the pilchards have been hard to come by. Long light-action rods and reels loaded with 10-pound or less braided line work well for getting the distance needed when casting lighter baits without the assistance of a cork or split-shot. Nearshore bottom fishing for hogfish and grunts has been excellent the last few days as winds lessened. Ledges as shallow as 25 feet have been holding good numbers of hogfish. Many of the ledges we target shallow water gag grouper this time of year are the same spots we're catching the hogfish. Bring along a couple of grouper rods and frozen sardines for a last chance at grouper as the season closes at the end of the month.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.