What's hot: With higher water temperatures, inshore game fish will cling to structures during good moving tides. Snook are moving inside the passes and are holding on spoil islands and canal mouths. These linesiders have been slow to bite, so be patient when setting up on a small school. Keep the bait near the bottom with a small splitshot. The morning bite, before boat traffic arrives, has been best.
Tips: The redfish bite has been best during the weeks before full and new moons. The large breeders move inshore during peak high tides. They school up and work down a flat or mangrove edge as the tide moves in. Redfish routinely follow the same patterns to travel up into the shallows. Look for wading birds at lower tides to give away the best spots on a grass bank. Egrets and terns eat crabs and worms that draw reds' interest. White weedless spoons have worked best at lower water in sandy pockets. Keep a good casting distance. Once one is spooked, the whole pack is.
Tactics: Dead baits such as pinfish, sardines and ladyfish leave a scent redfish can follow. Snook also will feed on this presentation when nothing else seems to work. Fresher baits increase the scent throughout the water column.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at [email protected]