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East Bay Fishing Report: Pilchards have made their invasion

Bait. Since my last report, the schools of pilchards (white bait) have made their invasion onto the grassy flats and are easily captured in a couple of tosses. Size varies by flat; some flats have smallish baits while others offer a nice mixed bag.

Snook. Snook have been the best bet of the last couple of weeks. Free-lining sardines on the edges of flats, under docks and by the roots of the mangroves can be very devastating for said pilchard. Most of the fish are in the 22- to 29-inch range with fish in the 34- to 38-inch range coming in to test your tackle, knots and metal.

Redfish. Redfish are on the flats mixed in and around the mullet schools, small shad tail baits worked through the mullet and potholes are paying nice dividends. Dark colors work the best and something with a gold flake is a home run in the back waters. Spoons are great for seeking and destroying. Most of these fish are in the 19- to 24-inch range, great on light tackle. Some are even in the upper slot and over slot size, but you won't know until the steel has pierced the lip and the initial run, I swear a 24-inch redfish strikes more violently than a 34-inch red.

Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 774-0889 or

East Bay Fishing Report: Pilchards have made their invasion 04/25/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:36pm]
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