Redfish and snook are chewing well now. Area waters are full of baitfish and despite the hot weather, our seasonal transition continues. Snook are filtering back to inshore staging spots throughout the Intracoastal Waterway. While the majority of large fish remain on beaches and passes, plenty of smaller, lower-slot males are showing up around spoil islands, docks and oyster bars. Looking to fatten up over the next couple of weeks, these fish are pounding live baits around the strong part of the tide. Redfish are still top targets, with most snook coming from the same areas as the redfish. Look for schools to be mixed in with large prespawn mullet schools. No-motor flats, spoil islands and oyster mounds at higher tidal stages are good places to find redfish now. Cast gold spoons and/or top-water plugs on the low incoming tide in and around the mullet schools and live pilchards, pinfish, or select shrimp at higher tidal stages when the fish are pushed up along the mangroves or the edges or the oyster bars. Plenty of tripletail are in our area. Running crab buoys when moving might catch one. Not known for being spooky or selective, tripletail usually strike a corked pilchard or live shrimp with an upcurrent presentation.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.