I made a little time recently to do some research and development with my son. We launched at Cockroach Bay and, on the low water, found little except a few ladyfish. As the tide began to rise we began fishing potholes adjacent to the mangroves. This provided steady action with hefty jawed redfish besting 15 or so on artificials. Shad tail-type baits that were worked across the sand holes produced strikes. Tossing baits to the edges or just beyond and using a steady retrieve resulted in all of our hookups. Dark baits with a gold flake worked better than a sardine color. Snook are around as well; fishing mangrove edges on high tide produced several strikes. Most were in mid-slot range but we did hook one toad of a snook; he eluded us as his gill plate wrecked the 20-pound leader. With snook I start with 20-pound leader then go up if I begin to get cut off. Mullet have been hard to catch lately. They seem more structure oriented — meaning potholes, oyster bars and mangrove points. It seems that areas with good structure and mullet around were more productive than those that were void of the jumping fish.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.