Bait is deep, but a bottom machine will help you locate. Size has varied from medium to large, but most fish have preferred the medium-sized baits. The best bite has been on the southern-facing shorelines with deeper water. Trout are finally on the flats and feeding well. Look for schools of glass minnows and you'll find the trout. Also, don't be afraid to fish around the deeper edges of the flats. That's where the big females are. The snook bite has been phenomenal. Water flow is key. Good-moving water coupled with the warm, late-afternoon sun have provided bone-crushing strikes. Medium-sized sardines are the choice bait. The big baits only get flirted with as the fish can't fit them in their mouth. Big snook will eat the slabs, but patience is a must. Once the big fish are located, stay off them, toss the bait up-current and let it drift by until it's out of range. Then repeat. It might take a dozen casts or more to get a strike.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]