What's hot: The sun is getting higher in the sky, and water temperatures are rising rapidly.We are moving into the most productive period the year has to offer. Fish are hungry from winter and not picky at dinnertime. Shallow-water fish such as reds and snook have returned to the flats. Areas close to mangroves or established oyster mounds are a great place to look for both.
Bait: Shrimp or other live offerings such as scaled sardines and pinfish can be especially attractive to snook and reds. Fish slowly if using artificial lures. The water is still a bit chilly.
Tip: Water temperatures have slowly climbed into the high 60s at the beach and low 70sin Tampa Bay. King mackerel and their smaller cousins, the Spanish mackerel, love to invade when water temperatures are favorable, and72 degrees seems to be the ideal. Both have sharp teeth and should be handled carefully. They seem to get a thrill from biting their captors before they are bitten themselves.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.