When to go: The higher parts of the tide and the warmest times of the day have produced the best results of late.
What and where: A lot of snook are still in their late winter spots because the water has not stayed warm enough consistently for them to venture out to their spring haunts. Whitebait is the go-to bait for snook, but they have been reacting well to artificials as well. Snook are catch-and-release only in gulf waters.
Trout have been right where we normally find them in March and April, and they will eat just about any live or artificial bait.
Reports of redfish catches come from miles up the rivers to out on the flats. The really big schools haven't shown up yet, but 20-30 slot-sized redfish (18 to 27 inches) days are not uncommon.
Black drum have been around bridges and on the bars, where they go for spawning rituals. Black drum more than 30 pounds are not uncommon. A well-presented live or artificial crab or shrimp should work. The larger drum are here to spawn and should be quickly landed and released.
Bait: The Skyway Bridge is still the best place to load the livewell.
Matt Santiago can be reached at (813) 205-2327 or [email protected] or online at FishingGuideTampa.com.