What's hot: Strong incoming tides this week have had redfish, trout, snook and jack crevalle feeding first thing in the morning. Live bait makes a difference. Perfect weather and tides prompted a resurgence of pilchards and threadfins in northern Pinellas. Anglers can cast-net along bridge shadow lines or chum bait along deep grass just inside the passes. Large-volume live wells with at least 1,100 GPH pumps are a must to hold a few hundred pilchards.
Finding fish: Nearshore structures such as jetty rocks and sandbar points just inside the passes can get really hot this time of year. Fish will stage up, typically where they can duck out of the current and let the bait come to them. Handfuls of pilchards will get the fish into a frenzy on the right tide, and it's not uncommon to get multiple inshore slams.
High-tide reds: Big afternoon high tides have produced redfish. When the tide gets super high on peak moon phases, the reds have pushed way back under the mangroves, making it difficult to get them to feed on anything but cut bait. Fresh ladyfish steaks can be skipped back into holes in the mangroves and are deadly on reds. Target barrier islands on the high tides and spoil islands on low tides.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email [email protected]