What's hot: With cooler weather settling in after each northern front, many inshore game fish start to stage up on warmer flats. The south-facing shorelines heat up quicker, and most often, these edges along north Pinellas waters are shallower due to how the tides flush. After the cold fronts, the outgoing tide works best as the water will be warmer as it dumps from bayous, rivers and residential canals.
The targets: Big speckled trout are moving in and holding in the skinniest of water. Sightfishing these 5-plus pounders is a great experience as the strike can be aggressive while using suspending lures and jerkbaits. The extreme low tides of late fall keep redfish and trout in deeper potholes and edges that lead into the grass flats. Free-lined shrimp with a splitshot work best in sandy depressions. Schools of mullet are roaming the same areas, and redfish are following closely to forage on grass shrimp, bloodworms and small baitfish that get flushed up. The aggressiveness of reds allow artificials to work well in incoming water. Copper-colored spoons and darker plastics work well in the gin clear waters of St. Joseph Sound.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.