What's hot: With the water temperature on the rise after about 10 a.m., my best bites have been early. Redfish and trout are cooperating well in the early hours. Forgo the bait catching and toss topwater plugs and jigs. Slowly working baits through mullet schools and bait schools will increase your odds of a predatory fish taking a shot at your plastic. Bait schools on the flats in the morning are holding trout and ladyfish with the occasional red or snook prowling the outer reaches.
Other stuff: If you're looking for some table fare, find some structure — pilings, rocks, bridges — and deploy one of the plentiful small baits on a knocker rig next to the structure. The knocker rig makes a clicking sound, and when done right can be deadly for mangrove snapper. My clients have been besting some snapper in to the 3- to 4-pound range and getting plenty for the grill.
How to cook: When cleaning the fish leave the skin on, remove the rib cage and cut away from the backbone. Heat grill and season meat to your liking. Cook about five minutes on medium/high. Melted butter poured over the meat will enhance the taste. Sprinkle brown sugar over the meat after it is done, close grill lid for 30 to 40 seconds (let the brown sugar caramelize) and serve.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 744-0889 or email@example.com.