What's hot: With south winds throughout the week and a new moon, the tides have been higher than normal, leading to flooded mangroves and schools of redfish hunting among the roots deep in the woods. Fishing earlier in the tidal phase will give anglers a better chance of locating these bronze bruisers and set up a pattern of where they might hold. Finding the mullet schools among the trees will be a key indicator of a redfish haunt. The mullet will stir up baby stone crabs, bloodworms and small pinfish as the schools work along the mangroves. Cut-bait such as ladyfish works well on reds holding in the trees and on top of oyster bars. Fish the overhangs or pockets where you can cast deep into the mangroves. Be sure to "deadstick" (not move) the offering. This will allow the scent to travel deeper into the cover and draw out more fish. A 30-pound leader is necessary to prevent breakoffs.
Tips: The snook have moved onto the beaches and are feeding great with moving water. The early part of the incoming or the middle of the outgoing tide will bring the best bite. Sardines have been the top choice to persuade these linesiders to eat. Light chumming will turn the bite on as these fish have not seen much whitebait yet.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at [email protected]