The Tampa Bay Times
Up and down weather conditions will certainly keep you on your toes right now. Anglers looking to fill their live well full of whitebait may get it one day and not the next. Having a back-up plan consisting of a variety of baits including live shrimp, pinfish, cut ladyfish and soft-plastic jigs will often out fish the pilchards, both in quality and quantity.
Redfish are in good numbers in and around mullet schools during the lower tidal stages right now. Low tides are best fished with either cut ladyfish or tail trimmed pinfish, putting out a spread of baits to effectively cover a large area. You could also bounce a dark colored soft-plastic jig thru the area. At higher tides these same tactics will still work as well with chumming the fish with live pilchards. Look for the redfish to take to the trees as soon as theirs enough water. Target mangrove points as well as oyster bars.
Trout are becoming an everyday staple, as the water cools look for the big fish to continue stage up on the many spoil islands through ought the ICW. A soft-plastic jig bounced along the bottom is the most effective way to cover water and find the pockets of trout. Free-lining or cork fishing live pilchards or shrimp will also work. Tripletail can be spotted along crab trap lines. Calm sunny days offer the best searching conditions. Tripletail are generally cooperative and will strike both live and artificial baits alike.