What's hot: Sightfishing for snook and redfish has been excellent from the grass flats to the barrier-island beaches. The thickest concentrations of snook remain on the beaches. Anclote Key, Three Rooker Bar, Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island have large populations. Schools of snook move into the shallows to feed before and after the spawn. The ideal times to try for snook on the beach are early morning and just before sunset. The low-light conditions keep the snook from getting spooked, which often is a problem in clear, shallow water.
Redfish tactics: Redfish are seeking the protection and shade of mangrove shorelines during extremely high tides. They may be as far back underneath the mangroves as 15 feet. On falling tides, the redfish will slide onto the flats, where they can effectively be sightfished. Your first option is to stake up and bring the fish to you. Because reds rely on their sense of smell to feed, dead baits are effective in drawing them in. Chumming with fresh chunks of cut bait will attract reds to the boat, where live or artificial baits can be presented. The other option is to move silently across the flat in search of redfish. Look for fish cruising the flats, laid up in potholes, tailing or even riding the backs of big rays. One big ray may have up to a half-dozen fish on it, looking to pick off anything that gets stirred up.
Seth Leto charters out of Tarpon Springs and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 385-0382.