The Tampa Bay Times

The availability of baitfish was the key to successful outings prior to the blustery conditions we experienced this past week.  My primary targets had been snook along mangrove shorelines, Spanish mackerel off the beaches, and kingfish over near shore hard bottom areas.  That has all changed now that the wind and rain have muddied the water and scattered the bait.  Milder weather forecast this week with an easterly flow will help improve these conditions.  The first clue to baitfish returning to the shallow flats will be bird activity.  Until then, deeper structures such as bridge pilings may be where the best concentrations of baitfish can be found.  I’ll be carrying and assortment of artificial lures and some frozen cut bait along as back ups in the meantime.  We’ll fish for trout over cleaner grass beds with the lures or drop off to deeper natural limestone bottom in the bay for snapper, sea bass, white grunts, and more with the cut bait.