The bite was strong in the afternoon this past week. Cooler mornings have had fish sluggish. Once the sun warms the water, the fish get frisky. Live bait is easily accessible on nearly any flat I've been on in the middle bay. A little chum and a few throws fill the well. Snook have been active during the afternoon and gorging at times on chummed baits, then slipping up and eating one with a hook. When approaching a perspective area, I cover it with chummers to get them to feed. Once they begin feeding, slow the freebie to a half-dozen, at most, then cast on the targets they give you. If you have to fish the morning, mackerel are all over the deeper grass edges and the wrecks and rock piles across the bay. Mackerel are fun on light tackle. A 40-pound leader is a must as well as a long shank hook sized to match the bait. The upcoming front should shake things up. Don't be afraid to swing in the bait shop and grab some shrimp.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]swiftfishcharters.com.