What's hot: Prior to Tuesday's cold front, we were enjoying some of the best fishing of the year. Kingfish, Spanish mackerel, redfish, seatrout and even a few snook were caught daily. Conditions became ideal for kingfish and Spanish mackerel over the weekend. Kingfish had moved into depths as shallow as 20 feet with hard-bottom areas off of Clearwater and Reddington loaded. This latest blow likely will send them to deeper waters.
Tips: Flats fishing was impressive Saturday through Monday despite the lack of real tidal movement. The fish were aggressive. Targeting drop-offs and entry points gave us the setups needed for snook, redfish and trout. Free-lining pilchards over the deeper patchy bottom accounted for big trout and a couple of snook while keeping a couple of baits (including chunk ladyfish and cut pinfish) on the bottom a bit shallower worked for redfish.
Bait: Although whitebait hasn't shown up on the flats yet, it is here. Head to bridge shadow lines at night while the tide is moving. Getting enough to "black out" your live well won't be an option, but even a few of these oil-rich baits will produce quality fish.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.