Seems the bay has had a good flushing over the past month. The draining associated with Hurricane Irma and the flooding with Hurricane Nate has really moved water around. Flats have been lively the past few days. Try to fish the incoming tide when possible. The bite has been hot once the water begins moving in and has remained steady until the water gets too high and the fish move too deep to reach. Bait is on every flat in every size you can imagine. Chumming will work at anytime during the day. Snook have been chewing well with redfish in the mix. As the tide begins moving in, look for schools of mullet in potholes. Chum the waters with a few freebies to see if there is any interest. Once the bite slows, drifting up 25 feet or so will put you in new water as the fish begin migrating toward the back country. As the tide rises and the bite slows, little adjustments can pay big dividends. Once the fish push under the trees, the bite shuts off and the fish move deep to forage on a fresh supply of crabs or any other baitfish they can find. This is a great time to move out to the flats that are higher than normal and take advantage of a hot trout bite. This is when the big ones are around the oyster bars, acting more like snook.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]swiftfishcharters.com.