Past trips: Low water and high winds have made inshore fishing tough. We found a few areas with redfish tailing, but most of the reds were in less than a foot of water. In water this shallow, they will spook if the cast is too close or the line lands close to where they are tailing. Most of our presentations sent the reds into a torpedo run off the flats. The trick to catching shallow-water reds is to look at the tails and see what direction they are moving. If you plant a cast in their path, you'll have a good chance of hooking up. The rest of our trips were spent targeting trout. The recent drop in water temperature has put most in the 4-6 foot areas. We used strawberry jigs worked close to the bottom. It's most important to keep the jig near the bottom rather than using a jigging technique. Jigging will make the lure rise and put it too high for the trout to see.
Tips: For both reds and trout, you'll want to use light tackle. We have been using 15-pound braided line with a 20-pound leader. You can go lighter, but you might be undertackled if you hook up with a snook or large red. Most of the redfish are feeding on shrimp. Pinching off the tail will put scent in the water and help the reds locate your bait.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.