What's hot: Fishing has been great with the warm, spring-like weather. My main focus has been redfish and trout, though a few snook have shown up in areas where they are more likely to be in late spring. Daytime temperatures have raised enough to stimulate predator fish to chase meals on the flats. They are more willing to hunt for pinfish and sardines, and react to spoons and jerkbaits, rather than wait for easier meals as they do in winter. For redfish, target tidal creek mouths and oyster bars while scanning the perimeter for mullet schools. On a recent trip I identified a school of large redfish mixed in with mullet on a falling tide. Redfish wakes are more prominent and deliberate and they flash a large reflection off of their bellies when rolling, usually a sign that they are comfortable and unaware of your presence. A large pinfish, cast with the wind, to the edge of the school have gotten a hook-up within seconds.
Tip: Large trout are commonly swimming with mullet. Work live or artificial shrimp slowly through potholes near mullet schools. If using a float, allow enough leader to keep bait suspended off the bottom, depending on water depth.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and through his website at captbrian.com.