What's hot: Fall fishing is in full swing, with an incredible bite on the flats all around Tampa Bay. The redfish, snook and the big gator trout catch has been as good as I have seen in the last few years. From the south end of the bay to the north end, big schools of redfish are roaming almost every flat. The snook are all up and down the shoreline from the flats at low tide and the mangroves when the tide gets high.
Bait: It doesn't matter if you are throwing artificials or live baits are working well, because soft plastic in natural colors seem to be working the best. When working the flats, I also have been catching lots of trout, jack crevalle, mackerel and ladyfish.
Tip: The bait is still on the bay area flats in the 1 to 4 feet of water. You also can find good bait in the Skyway area. As the water continues to cool down, the fall and winter bite will only get better.
Capt. Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.