Lots of rain and tropical storm systems have really moved fish and changed their patterns. This has made some days a challenge for fishing, especially on the south shore, where you have four major rivers that feed into the bay. I will welcome a few fall cold fronts and consistent weather. That will bring things back to normal. As we see shorter and cooler days, flats fishing will start to flourish. Snook, redfish and trout will make their way to the shallows and start to get more active and feed more frequently. Greenbacks should be the bait of choice but will be harder to get as they move to the deeper areas of the bay. Look for bait around the towers in the bay as the weather cools. Working the potholes on low tides and moving in with the incoming tides will be a great way to find fish. Look for troughs; fish will use these areas as highways and stage up as the tide rises and falls. I have had a lot of success using floats on the flats. This not only helps catch more fish but also reduces pinfish eating the greenbacks.
Jason Prieto is a full-time fishing guide and can be reached at (813) 727-9890.