What's hot: With the first new moon of February, redfish should show up along oyster bars and mangrove shorelines. With the recent tides pushing higher, larger reds have roamed the inshore flats. Look toward the shallow edges of the no-motor zones to find bronze game fish. The lower water has fish holding just off the flat, anticipating the incoming tide to hunt in the skinny water. This is prime time to see tailers grubbing around for crabs and other small crustaceans. Early morning will yield better opportunities as the fish aren't as pressured. Try to work with a breeze at your back.
Tactics: Schools of redfish working the coastline at this time of year are cautious and often spooked before the boat gets close enough to make a cast. Using the wind at your back, make extra long casts and allow the reds to find the offering. When one is hooked, note where the fish settles down to feed.
Tackle: Superbraids in 8-pound test are equivalent to 2-pound mono and can be cast farther when rigged on a spinning outfit. A tail-hooked, select shrimp will be weighted forward and cover more distance on the cast. Fifteen-pound fluorocarbon leader also can help on cautious fish in the clear waters off Pinellas county.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.