What's hot: With the water temperatures climbing and the offshore action heating up, we finally have a greater variety for fishing. Inshore, snook are grouping in larger numbers along the barrier islands, moving from their transitional habitats. Although not as plentiful as we will see later in May and June, they are very willing to eat if approached carefully. Sardines and threadfins work well. Moving water and swash channels along the shoreline are great for finding them. Trout also are moving to the beach swashes. They tend to hold in the same areas as well as the grass patches and rock jetties that line the coast. Kingfish and mackerel have been hot for a few weeks, too. Bonito and sharks are thrown in the mix while fishing offshore. Of course, tarpon are beginning to show along the northern beaches. Several fly fisherman are poling the sandbars adjacent to the passes. Be sure to give these anglers plenty of room as they quietly work to chase down unsuspecting Tarpon. Some boats will be anchored along a known path waiting for a bite.
Tip: Redfishing has been best around the higher tides. Lately, I have favored the cutbait method. Pitching cut pinfish, ladyfish or greenbacks under mangroves and docks with adequate water throughout the tide phase works well, especially if you can sight a few fish in your targeted area. Tighten the drag a little more than usual to help turn them out quickly.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 or through his website at captbrian.com.