he Tampa bay flats bite has been good overall this week. However, the cool mornings and strong winds have made for some difficult conditions especially early in the day. Snook have been a bit reluctant to come out of the backwaters and onto the open flats. However, look for the bite to improve dramatically with this upcoming weeks warm weather.
For now, targeting the mid to high tide along the mangroves has been the best bet for snook and a few redfish. Live pilchards free-lined up under the trees is your best bet although skipping a soft plastic deep into the cover and twitching it back out will get you plenty of bites.
Redfish are around and some schools have formed leading into this full moon. Target the lower part of the tide around mullet schools. Being patient and letting the redfish come to you is your best bet as these fish have been spooky on the lower water but much easier to find than when the tide is up. Free-lined pilchards will work good at times especially if there are jacks cruising the area. When the jacks start chasing the baits the reds get excited and do the same. Otherwise a live pinfish or cut ladyfish and or threadfins have been working when the surface activity is slow.
The biggest variable lately as it usually is this time of year is locating bait. Focusing on areas of glass minnows will put you close to the bait. Look for the bird activity to indicate the glass minnow pods and then chum heavy and often there are a pilchards mixed in.
Capt. Tyson Wallerstein
Flats Monster Inshore Fishing