Mild overnight temperatures will keep the mullet and redfish active on the flats. High a.m. tides can be hit or miss for the next couple of months. If the air temperature gets into the low 50s or even lower, the shallow flats that attract redfish and mullet on the high tides will be inactive in the morning. If the mullet are active, it's easy to see where the greatest concentrations are. Work these long strings of mullet with long cast lures such as weed-less soft plastics, gold spoons or top-water walking baits. Running the trolling motor in water shallower than 2 feet will spook the fish from a great distance; drift fish when conditions are right or wade likely areas. The fish are spread out or in small loose schools; covering lots of water will increase bites. There have been bonus catches of gator trout while working this pattern. Northern Pinellas spoil islands are popular, schools of slot sized and larger trout are on many of them. Bounce soft-plastic jigs along the shell bottom to find the fish more efficiently than with natural baits. All of the spoils will hold some trout including south of the Dunedin causeway. Changing weather conditions have made cast netting pilchards tough some days, good bait can be hit or miss. Live shrimp paid off huge last week; gator trout and a host of other species love it. Pompano will also track down a live shrimp, and if one is hooked there's usually a few more around, the hard fighters like the same bottom contour as the big trout.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.