Looking good: The east side of Tampa Bay has been pretty good, with numerous species roaming the waters in search of a meal. That said, have a plan A, B, C and D because you just never know when a sure thing will wind up a dud.
Make a plan: On a recent trip the plan was to bend the rods, and I have been on a really good and fast-paced mackerel bite, with my crew consisting of three elementary school kids on spring break, and I had the perfect plan.
Well, you know what they say. The mackerel were on fire for all of 45 minutes, then done. We drifted some flats looking for trout to no avail. Drifting and working the mullet schools wasn't panning out, so we made our way over to an area I had done really well at earlier in the week on snook and redfish. First bait in the water — and wham — redfish.
Follow the mullet: This continued for the next two hours. Redfish, snook, massive trout, the bite would die off and we would move in farther as the mullet followed the incoming tide, then it would start over again.
Mackerel: The kids impressed me with their patience, and willingness to stalk the fish. I had no intentions of fishing for snook and reds, but the plans changed when the mackerel refused to cooperate any longer. I know mackerel are not the "designer" fish like snook and redfish, but they are great for novice anglers, or those who just want to catch a lot of fish, and as the spring turns to summer, they will be an excellent adversary.