Early morning action has been stellar just as the sun is rising. As the bait wakes up, the flat morphs from its still, dark and silky-looking waters to more transparent with these little critters swarming in a cloud of chum. As this occurs, the trout come alive, their strikes audible in every direction as the bait-gathering begins. Recently I have taken clients to experience the "waking up" of the flat. Topwater plugs are deadly this time of day. The smaller ones that walk the dog, in dark colors, have been the most effective. The higher pitch rattle works best around bait schools. Snook have been very cooperative thanks to the shorter days dropping the water temperature enough to get these fish to fire off. Most of the fish have been in the 22- to 26-inch range with the occasional slot fish in the mix. Redfish are getting pretty beat up by the droves of anglers chasing them. Chased fish won't eat. I spend a little time trying to get into position, but if they don't cooperate, I move on. While trout fishing recently, a solid cobia swam through and was caught on a tiny sardine, proving you never know what is going to bite.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]swiftfishcharters.com.