Youth fishing: The warm weather makes for a great time to take your kids fishing. The shallow flats are warming up, and the local game fish are on the move. Schools of spanish mackerel are showing up along the coast from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. Sea trout are everywhere on the flats, and schools of redfish are on outside points and oyster bars.
Trout are very easy for small children to target. They are just about on every flat that has grass with sand patches The grass flats on the east side of Three Rooker Bar, Anclote Key and the flats around Howard Park are red hot for these sea trout. There are a lot of small trout, but there are plenty of big ones mixed in. Most of the action has been in 3 to 5 feet on the edges of the sand holes.
Bait: For small children, live shrimp under a popping cork will do the trick. You can also rig a 1/8-ounce jig head with a plastic grub tail under a popping cork. With this type of fishing, you can use any boat that draws less than 3 feet of water. Remember when small children are fishing, take life jackets and sun block. And keep them in the action if the bite slows — move to a new spot.
Mike Manning runs Action Fishing Adventures out of Tarpon Springs. Call him toll-free at 1-800-644-5940.