What's hot: Inshore fishing has been excellent in between cold fronts. Speckled trout have been bunched up at times as they enter their peak spawning periods. And redfish are abundant along shallow edges at low tide and oyster bars at high tide.
Tactics: When searching for trout, free-line live pilchards on the strong part of the tide around sandy drop-offs along many of the spoil islands in the northern reaches of our area. Bottom-bouncing, soft, plastic jigs on a quarter-ounce jig head will help locate the school.
What else: Redfish are bunched up. They appear to be fresh from the gulf but not quite sure where — or if — they're going to settle. A combination of cutbait on the bottom, where you think the fish might make their way onto the flat, while fishing live pilchards a bit deeper is a great way to not only pick up trout, but possibly discover a school of reds. Kingfish and Spanish mackerel will be hot this week, especially by the weekend. Clean water will be the key to the fish returning to nearshore, hard bottoms and artificial reefs. Top baits include pilchards, threadfin herring and shad. Fish them on a stinger rig with 38-pound wire.
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.