What's hot: With fall patterns emerging on the new moon, snook are migrating toward the backcountry, and larger schools of redfish are moving in from the gulf. Shorter days are showing cooling trends at first light and stimulating game fish sluggish from the summer heat. Scaled sardines are plentiful and covering the beaches edge at sunrise.
With snook starting to hold on spoil islands and oyster bars, belly-hooking whitebaits entices these fish to feed as the offering is flashed periodically. Live-bait chumming also works, but too many free baits in the water will attract diving birds and turn the bite off. Anglers seeking these linesiders in transition need to key in on moving water around points and dropoffs. Work the docks along the main shore for larger single fish.
Large schools of mullet covering the shallow grass flats are great areas to catch redfish on artificials. The muds created by these fish stir up crabs, bloodworms and baitfish that reds feed on. Weedless gold spoons with white bucktail trailers are deadly.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at [email protected]