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The east side of Tampa Bay from Cockroach Bay to Emerson Point is holding good numbers of snook. Whitebait and scaled sardines draw the most strikes. Use these to chum the oyster bars and the potholes lining the points of mangrove islands. Corked rigs work, but use a free-line presentation when possible. The best action has been during incoming tides and at the end of the outgoing. There should be a few redfish and trout mixed with the snook. Many snook are 18-26 inches.

Trout fishing on the lower west side of the bay is outstanding. Most of the action during low tide is in 3-4 feet just off flats. As the tide comes in, most large trout are moving into potholes on the flats. Dark green and motor oil jigs dragged through the holes get the most strikes. Fish the incoming or outgoing tides.

Small schools of redfish have been near oyster bars in the same area. Whitebait or shrimp under a cork will produce over oyster bars at high tide. Dicing a few shrimp and tossing them around the bar helps.

March is the best month to catch a trout longer than 25 inches. These are breeding females. Releasing them helps trout populations.

_ Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.