The past couple of fronts and windy days haven't slowed the bite. There is a mix in the bait, from threadfins to whitebait, at the bridges and piers. Threadfins and whitebait are candy for snook, redfish, and mackerel.
Mackerel are all over the sandbars and artificial reefs. A live threadfin or whitebait on a long shank hook with 40-pound leader line and 15-pound braid on a medium to light rod is a perfect combination for them.
Redfish are hungry but are skittish on the flats. The water is clear in certain parts of the bay. Redfish have been appearing in loose schools. On low tides the fish are about 150 to 200 yards from the mangroves in about 2 feet of water waiting for the tide to come in so they can head to mangroves. Snook are in the mix as well.
Snook fishing is still phenomenal. We have been catching slot fish with a mix of those 20- to 24-inch fish off the beaches and rock piles. Snook are loaded up at the dock lights. They are really tough to catch, but if you put in the time, the reward is great.
Take these windy weekends as a good time to check the pumps in your boat, your batteries and any electrical issues. Check the trailer springs, hubs and axles. Fix any issues so the next outing isn't a failure.
Wes Burns runs Gulfside Fishing Charters out of Tampa and Brandon. Call (813) 394-7509.