A return to four-tide days should activate many species. After a slow weekend of trickling tides and relatively quiet fishing, we should slingshot into a great upcoming tidal period. Mackerel will be cramming themselves full of everything in sight, as will redfish on the flats.
What's hot: Redfish are clustering and creating havoc around established oyster mounds and adjacent flats. From Fort De Soto to upper Tampa Bay, the copper gems have been pleasing anglers and angering drag systems. The initial run from a shallow-water redfish is a thrill. They are like aquatic bulldozers.
Tip: Redfish that are schooled up are skittish, and this is especially true for heavily pressured fish. Either shut down upwind or use a push pole. The sound of a trolling motor will keep the fish out of reach and sometimes blow out the whole school. They are nailing greenbacks and gold spoons. The water has been exceptionally clear, so a long cast is helpful.
Coming up: Spanish mackerel showed up in fair numbers last week but were slow during the weekend. This series of large high-tide days coming, plus the last cold front of the season being behind us (hopefully), should trigger the annual invasion. Mackerel should be handled carefully because of their razor-sharp teeth then thoroughly iced upon capture if intended for the broiling pan.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit snookfish.com.