R&D: I made a little time to do some research and development with my son recently. We launched at Cockroach Bay and found on the low water not much willing to play except a few lady fish. As the tide began to rise we switched tactics and began fishing potholes adjacent to the mangroves. This provided steady action with hefty-jawed redfish besting 15 or so on artificials.
Bait: Shad tail type baits worked across the sand holes and they were key in producing strikes. Tossing baits to the edges or just beyond and using a steady retrieve resulted in 100 percent of our hook-ups. Dark baits with a gold flake worked better than a sardine color.
Snook: Snook are around as well. Fishing the mangrove edges on high tide produced several strikes. Most of the fish were in the mid slot range, but we did manage to hook one toad of a snook. He was able to elude us as his gill plate wrecked the 20-pound leader. With snook I prefer to start with 20-pound leader and then go up if I begin to get cut off.
Mullet: Mullet have not been the key lately. For whatever reason the fish are more structure oriented from what I can gather. By structure I mean potholes, oyster bars and mangrove points. It does seem that the areas with good structure and mullet around were more productive than those that were void of the jumping fish.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 774-0889 or [email protected]