The bite remains strong between the pesky fronts that keep dipping too far south. Snook are feeding well on incoming tides, and the late-afternoon bite is phenomenal as long as the tide is moving. Scaled sardines are the baits of choice for now. Snook have been averaging between 24 and 30 inches, and the occasional over-slot fish has been elusive, which will change after the fronts stop coming. Redfish are around and feeding well on the higher tidal stages. Mullet are key to finding redfish right now. Generally, they mill around with the mullet looking for a meal stirred up by the mullet tail. Cut pinfish and large sardines are cut in half and socked around the mullet school. The fish have been on the large side. Big trout have begun pushing into the middle part of Tampa Bay and should be here for a few weeks. Recent catches of fish up to 25 inches have been common. This is a waiting game. The fish are big and not in schools, so fishing expansive flats with salt-and-pepper bottom works well. You might only get a couple of bites, but they are worth the wait. Mackerel and ladyfish are abundant around the bay.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.