Game fish are seeking cooler conditions to feed. Increased tidal heights allow fish to forage among the sawgrass and mangrove shorelines. Redfish tend to hold with the mullet schools that roam the shallows. They also work the edges of the mangroves as the water flushes in. Place your baits under the brush to increase the chance of a hook-up.
Larger female snook are using the troughs along the beaches to feed before the summer spawn. Use large pinfish and more patience for the females. Males hold on points and eddies, and can be fooled by a fresh sardine or a white ¼-ounce pumpkin bucktail jig. Strong incoming tides are productive as the water is cooler and pods of glass minnows will flush along the white, sandy shorelines.
Many barrier islands are providing tarpon action along the beaches at daybreak. These fish will "roll" for air at times and give away their location. In cleaner, clear water, long 60-pound fluorocarbon leaders and smaller 5/0 hooks may be necessary.
At nearshore reefs, mangrove snapper in the 4- to 6-pound class have covered up structures in 30 feet of water. Cut sardines on a knocker rig are producing best.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater, and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.