What to find: The fishing all over is really good now. Finding warm water is a great way to find concentrations of redfish and trout. Your bottom machine can be a real asset for identifying water temps. Redfish and trout fishing have been really strong around this week's low tides. Fishing a live shrimp or whitebait under a weighted cork on deep grass flats is producing great trout.
Hot places: Last week we saw several gator trout of more than 25 inches. Drift a flat and stop when you get a bite or two to locate big schools of trout. The redfish have been schooled up really shallow. We have been having a lot of success wading broken bottom flats in 1-2 feet of water. Focus on making long casts. Find big mullet schools and you will find the redfish. With no real strong cold fronts on the horizon, gamefish are moving to their spring homes.
Tip: When you are searching around, look at pictures from years past. Look where you have caught fish this time of year and use those spots as starting points. Shrimp is still the hot bait inshore, but if you are set on whitebait then head to the Skyway. The bridge is loaded with whitebait and threadfins. Get upcurrent of the bridge and look for the bait to be holding close to the pilings and shadow lines.
Matt Santiago can be reached at (813) 205-2327 or [email protected] or online at FishingGuideTampa.com.