We'll likely see quite a bit more weather this second half of winter than we saw the first half. We'll get a little warmup this weekend, then another good-sized front midweek. The windows for productive fishing are much smaller. Typically it takes about three days for fish to become active after a front. This usually means another one is coming as we start to see a wind switch out of the south. Targeting the afternoon tides gives you the best shot at a good bite this weekend. Redfish numbers have increased after the most recent full moon, and we should see those fish gather in the shallows for the next couple of months. Artificial lures often are more productive now than live bait. Have the water column covered with a topwater plug, a gold spoon and soft plastics that can be rigged weed-less. Live shrimp can yield fish out of an area when pockets of fish are found. The trout bite should improve with cooler temperatures. Find the adult-sized trout schooled up around many of the spoil islands and flats with hard edges that might drop off into a channel. Fish the edges at lower tides. The spoil islands usually produce best midway through the incoming tide.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.