What's hot: This is the time of year we start to see an increase in redfish along the North Pinellas coast. Their spawn season begins and the water temperature decreases slightly leading into the fall months. I'm beginning to find more reds around the passes, even in areas where we are snook fishing. There are all sizes but mostly upper-slot fish. There is an abundance of bait along the beaches, attracting a variety of game fish. The medium-sized sardines that fall free from the cast net are working great in the open water near structure. Use a split shot in high current waters to get to the bottom. In the back country, I still favor cut pinfish when working the mangroves and shady docks that hold redfish on higher tides. Low-tide holes are holding fish in the early morning and will become even more active once temperatures drop a little.
Tip: Mangrove snapper seem to be making a push into the local waters. The smaller sardines on a small hook will get a bite from these feisty snappers, as well as trout and redfish looking for an easy meal.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and through his website at captbrian.com.