What's hot: Despite the fog, we finally had good weather the last few days. Inshore water temperatures were up a few degrees and now are fluctuating between 61 and 64 degrees depending on the time of day. Still a little chilly to expect a consistent bite, especially in the morning, however both redfish and trout have been biting well at times, mainly on the late afternoon into evening outgoing tide.
Tactics: Finding large schools of postspawn mullet has been key in locating the feeding fish. Soaking live select shrimp under a small float in and around the mullet is a great way to stay far enough away and quiet enough to avoid spooking the mullet and in turn the redfish and trout. Another option is fan-casting weedless-rigged soft plastics to cover the area much quicker than a stationary shrimp presentation. Work artificials slow and make sure they have enough weight to bounce on the bottom. You may want to consider adding scent to your bait as an attractor.
What else: Nearshore bottom fishing has been good for hogfish, white grunts and blue porgies. Anchor over live bottom in 30 to 45 feet of water and fish with live or fresh frozen shrimp to attract a variety of bottom fish. Try a 1 1/2-ounce sliding-sinker knocker rigged above a 2/0 hook.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at [email protected]