What's hot: Giant redfish have been cruising the near-shore reefs and area passes all along the Suncoast. Some of the schools have been numbering in the hundreds, and most of the fish have been well over the 27-inch maximum slot size. Birds and surface activity from fleeing bait schools are good indicators of where to start looking. In the mix with the reds, a good number of Spanish mackerel and bonita have been feeding on the more-than-numerous schools of bait that have been migrating down the beaches.
Tackle: These redfish are our brood stock, and the water is still warm. Make sure that you use ample tackle to reduce the fight times on the larger fish: 15- to 20-pound test braided lines and medium spinning tackle combined with circle hooks will still provide plenty of sport and allow a reduced fight time to ensure a healthy release.
Tips: The forecasted strong northeast winds in the coming days will keep the bait and the fish close to the beach and will allow for the action to continue in waters that are protected by the main shoreline. Stay close to the beach in the mornings, as the water will be calmer and you will have the sun at your back. With all the bait that has been on our beaches, your quarry will be very close by.
Troy P. Sapp with Fins and Tails Guide Service can be reached at (813) 920-6928