What's hot. Sheepshead are still around and are bunching up after the fronts. Deep rock piles and reefs have been holding some really sloppy looking convicts. Fiddler crabs and shrimp are the hot bait. If you're looking to hear some drag scream, sharks are roaming the warmer waters and feeding well as long as the tide is moving. Cut ladyfish and pinfish are great baits and should help you score a spinner shark, black tip or a scalloped hammerhead.
What else. Redfish have been making an appearance in loose schools in and around the mullet. In some areas the fish are up to half a mile away from the shoreline. These fish are receptive to shad tail type baits in black and gold. Long casts are a must as is a light leader, the water is clear and the fish are on high alert. Some areas are holding snook and juvenile tarpon. They are really tough to get to eat, but if you put in the time it is a great reward.
Fly. During the warm streaks, the snook are loading up into the dock lights. They are eating small minnow flies. Gotta match the hatch! Lots of ladyfish to bend the long rod as well, they are just about everywhere around the mouth of the rivers that dump into the bay.
Bait. I saw two spots holding bait recently, both were within a long cast of very deep water. If the fronts stay mild the bait should begin flooding onto the local flats.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 714-0889.