What's hot: The extreme high tides of summer will find most gamefish using the mangroves to hunt and keep cool during the heat of the day. Tide and water movement are the main reasons redfish and snook will favor a given area. As water pours into the passes, the nearest flats that have mangroves will be richest in bait and crustaceans. Oyster bars with deeper cuts among them will create a pathway for these fish as the water level increases. Reds are most aggressive during lower water levels, as they will push up shallow and corner baits in pockets or shallow edges. Anglers can also use the lower water levels to find the undercuts of the mangroves that will create deeper pockets and key ambush areas. These little caves among the trees are the reds' favorite spots. When fishing a treeline, the cast must fall right on the edge of the shade because fish rarely come out and feed at peak tides. When the tide turns, keep an eye on the mullet. This is a good indicator of where the fish will fall out of the trees. Snook will sit on the points that protrude and flush more bait
Bait tip: Silver dollar-sized pinfish are like candy for redfish working the brush. Use a smaller split shot and tail-hook these baits to allow them to swim tight to the cover.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 or firstname.lastname@example.org.