A return to four-tide days should activate many species. After a slow weekend of trickling tides and relatively quiet fishing, we should slingshot into a great upcoming tidal period. Mackerel will be cramming themselves full of everything in sight, as will redfish on the flats.
What's hot: Redfish are clustering and wreaking havoc around established oyster mounds and adjacent flats. From Fort DeSoto to upper Tampa Bay, the copper gems have been pleasing anglers and angering drag systems. The initial run from a shallow water redfish is a thrill that must be experienced. The fish are like aquatic bulldozers.
Tip: Redfish that are in a school are skittish, and that is especially true for heavily pressured fish. Shut down the motor upwind or use a push pole. The sound of a trolling motor will keep the fish out of reach and sometimes blow out the school. They are nailing greenbacks and gold spoons. The water has been exceptionally clear, so a long cast is helpful.
Coming up: Spanish mackerel have showed up in Tampa Bay. They were found in fair numbers last week but were slow to cooperate over the weekend. The next series of large high-tide days should trigger the annual invasion of the delicious eating machines and send them far up into the bay. Mackerel should be handled carefully because of their razor-sharp teeth and thoroughly iced immediately upon capture if intended for the broiling pan.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa Bay and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or www.snookfish.com or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.