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Flats fishing is picking up along the North Pinellas and Pasco County coastline, where hints of spring are popping up all over. Warmer air and longer days are steadily increasing the water temperature, which is key to the spring turnaround. High pressure and light winds are predicted into the weekend, with possibly the best fishing week this year.

Each day seems to bring more positive signs that the tough winter months may finally be over. Before Sunday's cold front, several Tarpon Springs guides reported snook action had finally increased. The brief chill has temporarily put them on hold, but over the next few days the bite should resume.

The local redfish population has been improving and good catches of 6- to 10-pounders were reported from several locations last week. Jack cravelle are in areas that had been empty for months, and at least one giant school of bluefish moved through last week. These highly aggressive, drag-ripping fish are a welcome sight to inshore anglers seeking a change from the norm.

Have a cast net and a few cans of chum onboard. Pinfish are returning to the grass flats and the scaled sardines may show up any day now. Birds diving along the beaches or over grass flats close to the gulf could indicate the presence of these prized baitfish.

Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail