What's hot: The early morning inshore bite has been great with water temperatures dropping a couple of degrees due to late-afternoon rain. Bait has finally shown up along the beaches and is still on the grass flats in 4-7 feet. Mangrove snapper are eating well around bridges, using split shots to get the small sardines near the bottom. Flounder are also staging around the same areas, often eating the baits hopped along the flat, sandy bottom between bridge pilings.
Tip: Trout have been blasting baits on the edges of the grass flats with falling tides. Chumming a few handfuls of greenbacks often stimulates the trout to explode near the top of the water, giving away their location. Jacks, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish have also been feeding in the same areas, so there is plenty of action.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and through his website at captbrian.com.