Bait. Bait are trying to push onto the flats, but every passing front pushes them back into the deep water. When this happens, artificial bait in a green back pattern work well, provided the water temperature did not drop too much.
Cold fronts. If you are lucky enough to make it out between the blows, the fishing is at times amazing. Last week I fished before the front. Bait took all of 10 minutes. On the flats, my clients stuck more than two dozen snook with about 15 of them making it to the boat. The trick is to use the lightest leader you can get away with and still keep the fish on. I have been downsizing to 20-pound leader and try to keep the fight more parallel to the water — holding the rod parallel to the water, not pulling up. This changes the angle of the line and will aid in keeping the leader away from the razor sharp gill plate.
Redfish. Redfish are moving around a lot, but they are starting to school in the East Bay area. Again, the fronts are pushing them around, but when the weather settles, so do the redfish. Chum heavy. That has been the key to getting the fish going. Don't be afraid to use cut bait on finicky fish. They will eat it up.
Trout. Trout are doing their thing, smaller baits and artificial baits are producing well. Look for them in the 3-foot range between the fronts, and 6-foot soon after the passing. Broken bottom provides lots of ambush points for the freckled fish.
Capt. Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]