Recent rainfall has dropped the water temps on the North Suncoast and the fishing is getting better. The forecast looks good for the holiday weekend, and the strong tides with Saturday's new moon should provide good action inshore.
Redfish are beginning to group in larger numbers in preparation for the October spawning period. They have been showing up in the shallow bays along the shoreline and are feeding much more aggressively than in recent weeks. Look for disturbed water along with numerous baitfish skittering away to locate the larger schools. Often the activity can be detected by birds that are hovering and diving on the fleeing bait fish.
The best results this past week have come from free-lining live greenbacks. The baits have been running small and hard to cast any distance, so it's best to set up in a way to allow the current to carry your baits to the school. This will allow you to position the boat far enough away to prevent spooking the fish, as most times they will be in less than 2 feet of water.
With the small baits being so numerous, live bait chumming has been effective. Tossing 15-20 freebies into the current will help keep the fish in range, and the aggressive surface strikes on the chum may indicate the new location of the school if they have moved out of casting distance.
Capt. Troy P. Sapp with Fins and Tails Guide Service can be reached at (813) 920-6928.