Inshore waters are full of bait and are attracting schools of ladyfish, bluefish, trout and Spanish mackerel. The bite can be insane at times, especially on a good moving tide. Toss out live pilchards for chum to attract the fish to your area and also to keep them there. Look for protected shorelines that are active with diving birds or fish busting the surface. Long shank hooks and at least a 30- if not 40-pound leader to prevent cut-offs are a must when bluefish and mackerel are around. Low tides this week brought on by the new moon will give anglers a chance to fish the deeper water adjacent to the grass flats were snook, redfish and trout will be condensed due to the lack of water. Finding a deeper hole or even just a general secondary flat that offers bait and grass can be magical. Setting up up-tide of were the fish might be holding when possible will allow you to chum the fish towards you. This is a great time for wade fishing. Savvy anglers know those places where they can gain access to their favorite flats. A pocket full of lures that allow you to cover the entire water column is all one needs, especially on the lower tides. Starting with a top-water lure is often a good way to find where the fish are holding. Make long casts and use a fairly quick "walk the dog" retrieve to cover ground and eliminate unproductive areas. Once fish are located, switching to a soft plastic lure and slowing down your presentation often allows for a more subtle and effective approach.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.