Redfish fishing throughout the Intracoastal Waterway has been excellent this past month. Schools of 18- to 24-inch redfish can be found balled up along the outer edges of the shallows at low tide and working the oyster bar edges at the higher tidal stages. Spoil islands and flats that run adjacent to the channel or areas of deeper water are places to find the schools now. As the tide recedes, the bait becomes condensed along these edges, attracting not only redfish but trout, jacks and ladyfish. Cast-netting live pilchards has been easy this week. Light east winds allow you to stalk schools of pilchards along the swash channel up and down the beach. Finding larger-sized bait might require a little help from the daylight in order to pick out bigger baits. Setting up in natural funneling points such as a small cut in the outer bar or a slightly deeper bend allows you to chum the fish to you as they exit the flat. Baitfish mimicking artificial lures work great.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.