Spring is in full swing! The bait has returned to every corner of the Bay Area and so have the predators. Redfish are schooling up again and I’m seeing some bigger groups of snook on barrier islands near mouth of Tampa Bay.
In addition, Kings and Spanish are thick on the beaches and even a few Cobia are showing up around fixed structure. And if things continue tarpon will appear a little early this year…
Here’s some of the action you can expect in the shallows:
Trout- Top water plugs during low-light periods are the best bet to catch a big gator trout. Zman Swimmerz or Jerk Shadz are another good substitute if floating grass is an issue. More action can be found mid-day in a little deeper grass flats with Mirrolure Heavy Dine or Zman Minnows on 1/4 oz. jig head. The lower end of the Bay has been much better for trout action!
Redfish- With so much bait around I’ve been catching redfish on Aqua Dream Spoons (white, silver) and Pro Series Mirrodines with regularity this past week. If you want to throw soft baits the Zman Minnowz on an 1/8 oz. jighead, best colors are “Gold/Rush” or “Advocado/Red Flake”. I’ve focused on the lower tides for reds where the Reds are locked into “pot holes”. Of course, oyster bars are great high tide targets for redfish in the Spring.
Jack Crevalle- They are still here! And, the Bay is loaded with small fry minnows and the schools of medium to large Jack Crevalle are wreaking havoc on them. For the past week my clients have been whacking Jack Crevalle using a variety of Zman soft baits or the Mirrolure Mirro Glass, a small minnow imitation. It’s just about a sure thing if the Jacks start blitzing the bait within your casting range. And on light tackle… you won’t have to catch many before you’ll need some Advil!
Snook- Last week the top water bite around dawn produced a couple of snook each day. The Mirrolure She Pup was definitely the “hot plug” but a fast paced Mirrodine across the surface twitched erratically will get similar results. I’m sure by month’s end the beaches will have a few big ones hanging out near our passes if the water temps continue to warm up this Spring. Best area to focus on snook is Tampa Bay’s south shore… it’s loaded up!
Here’s a quick reminder, The new episodes of Flats Class TV (Season 9) have already cranked up on both Sun Sports (Fox South) and Discovery’s “Destination America” networks! The next episode (#2) features maybe the biggest redfish (50″) we have ever caught on FCTV pitching a bass bait called the Palmetto Bugz. All shows are HD and we have some great footage from the Everglades to the Texas Coast this season… don’t miss an episode.
Lastly, please consider joining the CCA and participating in the upcoming CCA Star Tournament lots of prizes that include a new pickup truck, HB Skiff, and much more… we need your voice and support, Flats Class Fans!
Until next time, keep them rods bent!