Extreme new moon tides later this week will all but empty the Intracoastal Waterway. Grass flats that are rarely exposed will be dry for much of the morning. This situation can provide some spectacular inshore fishing.
So focus your efforts on small cuts on the very outer edges of the secondary grass flats, much like points and coves along a mangrove shoreline. These cuts provide some structure that will attract bait as well as the mullet schools that the redfish and gator trout shadow.
Redfish can often be spotted tailing in these low tide conditions. Hopping out of the boat and quietly stalking them as they make their way onto the flat with the incoming tide is perhaps one of the most exciting and humbling ways to catch fish in our region.
These often-spooky redfish can be caught on a variety of soft-plastic lures, especially the scented ones, and will even strike a top-water plug at times. Your best bet however for hooking up would have to be a live select shrimp. Use the smallest peg style float you can find as a strike indicator pegged a foot or so above your shrimp.
This will allow you to track your shrimp so you can cast it well beyond the fish and draw it back to them.
Top-water plugs have been extremely effective lately in the early morning hours. Thereís plenty of big trout roaming the Intracoastal right now and a noisy top-water plug that can be casted well away from the boat is probably the best way to target them.
Also, spoil islands in the northern part of the county are still holding good concentrations of trout. Target peak tidal movement for best action. Soft-plastic jigs in natural shrimp colors work well as does a free-lined select shrimp.
If youíre looking for a good shrimp alternative, try setting out a pinfish trap over shell bottom. Baited with frozen sardines on a full tide either incoming or outgoing, your trap should load up with small pinfish and grunts, both of which will work great for trout.
Silver trout are schooled up along area beaches from Johnís Pass north to Indian Shores. These areas have been holding plenty of silver trout.
Drifting with the wind and tide while bouncing brightly colored soft-plastic jigs off the bottom is a great way to locate them. When itís too rough to drift fish, use your bottom machine to help locate the trout.
Typically the schools will hold near the bottom in 8 to 15 feet of water.
Until next week, get bent!
Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to editorial@TBNweekly.com or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.