What's hot: Trout and redfish continue to provide a lot of light-tackle action inshore. Trout have been caught with artificial lures. Large schools of redfish are working their way back onto the flats. I finally came across them last week. This marks the start of the redfish season. Higher tides in the afternoon make it easier to get close to them.
Tactics: I start in the morning on the low tide working the edges of sandbars around Pinellas Point. Casting quarter-ounce jigs rigged with soft plastic tails has produced trout, bluefish, ladyfish, pompano and jacks. Work as much water as possible. Once the tide gets high enough, I work my way onto the flats looking for redfish. Clear water and lower tides can spook reds. I work slowly and wait for them to come to me as the tide rises. If fish run into bait on their own, they usually eat what you offer. Once the tide is almost at its peak, I target where I have caught them previously.
Bait: Redfish will eat just about anything when baits are presented right. If the tide is low, I like to use shrimp. They are easy to cast and land softly, the key to not spooking the fish. If the tide is high, I prefer pinfish, greenbacks and whitebaits.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.