What's hot: As warmer weather moves in, redfish, trout and snook move into shallow grass flats to hunt sardines. Cast-netting greenbacks at first light has been a chore as water temperatures have stayed on the cooler side. Shrimp are a great alternative while fishing for reds around the oyster bars and feeder creeks on high tides. Many redfish are using mangroves to find small crabs and pinfish. Work deep pockets among the trees in the shady regions. Help prevent break-offs with 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. The deeper sand pockets off the mangroves are holding 22- to 24-inch trout on flood tides. Belly hooked sardines worked slowly back to the boat work well. Suspending soft lures also work for artificial enthusiasts.
More snook: Snook are holding at bayou mouths and barrier islands, which are transition spots before they head to the beaches during the summer. Small baits work better as they seem to be an easier meal to take. Most larger top-slot fish are in the deeper pockets, where the current flushes. The upper Pinellas coastline also will find snook moving in from nearshore reefs. With an abundance of passes leading into the gulf, north Pinellas usually has great numbers of snook during the summer.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.