What's hot: With the warming trend over the past week, redfish and the larger, female speckled trout have shown up throughout St. Joseph Sound. Oyster bars and docks have been the most productive areas, as the fish will use these structures to feed during the weaker high tides of winter. Wind has played a key role in making longer casts toward these cautious game fish in shallow target zones. Lower water levels force anglers to use lighter presentations — such as freelining a shrimp or casting pumpkin slammers using only a one-eighth-ounce jighead. The abundance of redfish have been in the 5- to 10-pound class and are very aggressive when the tide is moving in. Sandy pockets leading up to shell banks will have the fish attacking most anything tossed at them. Smaller schools of a dozen fish or so will be found working in with mullet and can be seen by the darker muds left behind.
Trout: With so many anglers targeting the trout of St. Joseph Sound, key areas can become congested. Often the deeper grassflats between will be loaded, where tossing artificials can be productive.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 439-9017.