What's hot: The redfish fishing in the bay has been good, but Weedon Island, the Fourth Street flats and the Old Safety Harbor power plant oyster bars are on fire at the end of the outgoing tide and the beginning of the incoming tide. There are a few ways to fish them if you use live bait. Anchor up-current from the holes and chum with live sardines or cut them up and toss them into the holes. When the smell goes down-current, they will follow it up-current to the hole you are chumming. The other way is sight casting to them with fly or spinning gear from the front of a skiff or flats boat. The baits of choice are a weedless jerk bait or a gold spoon, and a crab pattern for fly fishing.
Snook: The snook are still on the outside of the passes and creeks for a few weeks but their biological clocks will start to send them up the creeks. The south end of Weedon Island around to the back side and the docks at night along with Big Island Gap and the rocks at Picnic Island have been holding some good snook. The baits of choice are live sardines or shrimp, but as the water cools at night, a top water first thing in the morning is a great way to fish for snook. As the sun gets up, try switching over to a jerk bait or a twitch bait.
Trout: The water is still a little warm for good trout fishing but try the grass flats at the end of Weedon Island and Culbreath Isles. Use a sardine under a cork or a weedless jerk bait, or a baitfish pattern for fly fishing.
Tip: Sardines are just about everywhere: Culbreath Isles, Bayside, Weedon Island and the Fourth Street flats.
Capt. Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 or [email protected]