What's hot: Tailing redfish can provide one of the most rewarding catches among flats species. It takes patience, time and more patience to wait out these wary feeders. The redfish's tail breaks the surface of the water because the fish has its head buried in the sand or is mud digging for crabs and shrimp. I have seen "tailers" the past week on the outgoing tide as the water level gets lower on the flats.
Tips: The water has become extremely clear on the flats around the Fort De Soto area, so be careful approaching reds. Wading to them is probably the easiest way to get close enough to make an accurate cast to these easily spooked fish. Take your time, pick a spot, walk slowly into a flat and wait for the fish to come to you.
Bait: I like to use a tailed shrimp and bite off the last section of the tail. This helps in making longer casts and leaving a scent trail. Shrimp also land "softer" on the water, which prevents spooking the redfish. Try to cast a foot or two in front of the fish. If you cast right next to the fish, he will bolt.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.