Finally a string of nice days has given anglers beautiful conditions on the water. Since Isaac has passed, Tampa Bay has had ideal fishing weather.
What's hot: Since the water temperatures have dropped significantly on the flats, redfish have become more cooperative. They are taking the usual live baits as well as time-tested artificial lures.
Tip: When handling a fish intended for dinner, do not let it flop on the bottom of the boat. Gently releasing the fish or quietly measuring it and then sliding it into a cooler will help with secondary catches. Loud noises startle redfish, especially in crowded places such as Weedon Island or Fort De Soto. Avoid dropping a tackle box, an anchor or stomping in anger.
Bait bonanza: Baitfish are back on the flats, and the bait shops have live shrimp again after all that rotten weather and a seasonal spawn.
Tactics: As fall gets closer, redfish schools will continue to thicken. A stealth approach always helps, as does putting out chum. One of the "time-tested artificial lures" mentioned above is the gold spoon. I pulled a rusty one from my tackle box and caught redfish with an old lure I have not used in years.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531, email [email protected] or visit snookfish.com.