With a tough week of weather behind us, we are all looking forward to better fishing conditions that should be in store for us this week and through the weekend.
With water temperatures still hanging below 70 degrees itís safe to think that the best fishing of the season is still ahead.
Light winds should clean our nearshore waters up for this weekendís fishing. Kingfish remain high on the list of target species. When conditions have been right for kingfish, the majority of the fish have been somewhere in the 3 to 5 mile range. Purely speculation at this point especially considering the amount of wind we had last weekend, but it would probably be a good idea to start in these depths. Blue runners, large pilchards and threadfin herring have been the ticket for these 10 to 20 pound fish. The larger fish will most likely be found out deeper, say 80 feet and out, or shallower in spots like the shipping channel.
Inshore, redfish remain the one constant. Improving new moon tides will give anglers the opportunity to target these fish at both the high and low tidal stages. Entry points along the outer edges of the flats are potential low tide hotspots. Lightly weighted soft plastic jigs in darker colors have been working well in this scenario. When the tide peaks later in the morning, itís time to start working those oyster mounds for pockets of fish. Corking a live shrimp and casting it around the edges of the oyster mound is one of my favorite ways to fish.
Periods of stable weather have allowed for the bait to congregate around many of the local bridges at night. Working the shadow lines with a fast sinking cast net has yielded a variety of bait that can be used both inshore and offshore. Pilchards, the preferred live bait for trout, redfish and snook have been a bit scarce thus far this spring. Being resourceful however and utilizing what bait is available can still produce good catches of quality fish.
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.