Stronger winds and full moon tides have higher water pushed into feeding areas along mangroves and oyster bars. The increased depth has snook and redfish foraging on crustaceans and baitfish into the shady regions of the bushes. Twenty-five pound fluorocarbon leader and a stiffer rod is necessary to pull these fish from the mangrove limbs. Keeping your rod low will prevent the fish from getting tangled in the roots.
Once the water temperature starts to settle into the low 70s, most snook will make their way to the spoil islands. These linesiders will feed heavily on bigger pinfish and threadfins.
Redfish are showing up on the flats in good numbers. When a school is working in shallow grass flats, fish are aware of the surroundings. Either push-pole or use the trolling motor slowly. Once close use as much stealth as possible. Longer casts and lighter baits are the trick to pulling reds off the edge. With an incoming tide, fish will become more aggressive as the water rises. Tossing out a few chummers will keep both redfish and snook close by.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 439-9017.