What's hot: With this week of great incoming tides, the incredible redfish bite should continue as the new moon nears. The last stronger high tides of April increased redfish schools throughout north Pinellas County. Anglers can sightcast to hundreds of them as they push onto the flats and toward mangroves. The abundance of small bait has the reds crashing through them for an easy meal. For artificials, throw small lures such as pumpkin bucktails to instigate a quick bite. Look for structure — rocks, oyster bars or dead trees — to find larger schools. Cut pinfish have worked best when the fish get into the trees. Once the water begins to leave the shallows, work small pinfish under a cork just outside the mangroves. Twenty-five-pound leader works best, helping prevent breakoffs on reds that run back into the structure. Snook have started to move onto beaches around Anclote and the trough parallel to the beach. Look for deeper depressions that might have rocks or good current to funnel bait.
Bait tip: When catching bait, first light has been key. With such clear water, the greenbacks will drop far back from the boat once the sun clears the horizon.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 439-9017.