What's hot: As the warmer waters of April approach, many snook have moved onto the flats, taking advantage of the increased amounts of bait covering the flats. Most of these fish are going to be found back in a transition mode, staging up along shorelines leading out of bayous and the backsides of the barrier islands. Work any mangrove shoreline that has good depth and moving water. These elements are key to finding snook around mid April. Spreading a few chummers along a stretch of trees will help to locate fish that are tucked up and ambushing any free meal that swims along into cover. Once a bait is popped by a snook, note where the fish is and how it is holding to the related cover. It may be under an old branch or in a depression that is deeper in the shoreline. Use this to set up a pattern along that stretch of the flat. When fishing with trees and docks as obstacles, 30-pound leader is a must to help prevent breakoffs. If fishing on a clear flat with potholes, 20-pound fluorocarbon will get the bites in the clear waters off St. Joseph Sound.
Offshore kingfish: The kingfish have moved in and are ripping through the huge bait schools in 20-foot depths off Clearwater. The water is exceptionally clear, and lighter leader, such as 30-pound, is getting the most hookups. Most are schoolies, but at least a couple of bites a day have been smoking reels.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 439-9017.