What's hot: Fishing has improved with the stronger tides this week. Redfish have been biting best on the highest part of the tide. I focus on the sandy potholes around the large mullet schools with cut baits and live sardines. This has produced several slot-sized fish (18 to 27 inches). Some areas are still holding reds in the mangroves lined with oyster bars. Use cut baits with a small split shot to keep the bait in the holes between dangling limbs.
Offshore: Although mackerel have been consistent, the bite has been even better when the water is moving well. Free-line sardines on a long-shank hook into a chum slick. Look for live bottom areas that are more likely to hold bait schools. Also, try slow-trolling live threadfins, sardines or spoons around the schools of surface baits.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and through his website at captbrian.com.