We've started a new weather pattern, and it could be awhile before we get a stretch of good days. Unfortunately, consistent fishing coincides with consistent weather. A big cool-down this weekend will drop water temperatures maybe another 10 degrees. Afternoon trips are likely the best option. Loose schools of redfish are mixed in with mullet schools that are beginning to return to the flats in numbers after their recent spawning season. Fan-casting weedless soft plastics through the schools of mullet will not only produce redfish but the occasional large trout. The beaches from John's Pass north to Indian Shores have been holding plenty of silver trout when weather permits. Drifting with the wind and tide while bouncing brightly colored soft-plastic jigs off the bottom is a great way to locate them. When it's too rough to drift fish, use your bottom machine to locate trout, typically near the bottom in 8-15 feet. Sometimes these postfront days don't offer many options for open-water fishing. Having a good stretch of docks where you can escape the wind and get a rod bent is key this time of year. Sheepshead, black drum and redfish can be found under docks. Often the south-facing docks are most productive, as they see the most sunlight during the day.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.