What's hot: With the weather warming quickly, bait have emerged all over the beaches. This smorgasbord has brought in many game fish. Most underwater structures, such as rock jetties or shallow sand shoals, will have fish hanging nearby because of the increased current. Tarpon have been swimming up the beaches at daybreak and rarely rolling at the surface. The best chance of hooking silver kings is to stage about 50 yards from shore as the sun rises and spread out a few lines with different offerings. Silver mullet, large threadfins and large pinfish seem to get the best results.
The full moon formed big schools of redfish that roam the mangrove islands of north Pinellas County. These fish are so aggressive on the strong-moving tides that they can be seen showering glass minnows in 6 inches of water. Oftentimes, a jumbo shrimp will outproduce sardines in this situation.
Stealth tips: When approaching a school of redfish, run the trolling motor on the lowest speed or push-pole to help dissolve pressure on these game fish. Excess noise on a boat will push the fish far away and make it harder to get a clean shot.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 439-9017.