What's hot: The best bite of late has been redfish in shallow water. Fishing scattered mullet with search baits such as gold spoons and soft-plastic shad tails has produced redfish in the low to upper slot range. The redfish slot limit is 18 to 27 inches. This time of year a shallow draft boat is a plus. If that is not an option, wading works as well and can allow for a silent approach to wary redfish.
What else: Mixed in with the redfish have been bruiser trout. They are striking topwater plugs worked in the walk-the-dog fashion as the sun is breaching the horizon. As the sun gets higher, switch to a soft-plastic jerk worm and work the edges of the mullet schools. This has produced several big trout. But fight them gingerly as their mouths have soft tissue. Revive them quickly and handle the trout as little as possible.
One more: Sheepshead are pushing their way up into the bay with lots of juveniles heading into the creeks. The residential canals are holding some nice fish. Look for them grinding on a piling, circle back and chum with small pieces of shrimp, then send one out on a hook. The trick to catching sheepshead is to hook these soft nibblers before they pick the hook clean of shrimp.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]