Inshore fishing: Spring patterns are finally beginning to emerge in the fishery. Perhaps the biggest news for flats anglers is the arrival of scaled sardines, also known as whitebait and greenbacks. These coveted baitfish have just the right shallow-swimming action to entice snook, redfish, spotted seatrout and many other predatory fish into feeding. Watch for diving pelicans and terns to guide you to the bait schools.
Mackerel are back: The annual Spanish mackerel migration has finally returned to our area. These mackerel travel with the baitfish and follow moderate water temperature. Now that the nearshore gulf temperature is starting to rise, expect to see improving mackerel action for the next few weeks. If your lures or hooks are begin cut off while inshore fishing, there are probably mackerel nearby. Free-lining a live sardine with a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader and a long-shanked hook will swing the fight in your favor. Casting shiny jigs or spoons over deeper grass flats has also been working well. Most of the mackerel have been in the 1- to 3-pound class. but some 5-pounders have been caught.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.