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Saturdays afternoon trip was focused on quantity and keeping the rods bent. The brisk winds from this morning trip were still present but had laid down enough to allow a comfortable run to Pinellas Point where we have been catching copious amounts of large 20” plus trout. The tides which are getting better and better all spring now gave a new look to the area I have targeted the last several weeks. Areas I could use the Power Pole were now out of reach so I eased in closer to the oyster bar I have been targeting. Once the pole was set in 6’ of water the action did not disappoint. Trout while not as large as last week were still solid chunky 15-18”. Small Redfish, Bluefish, Ladyfish, Mackerel were all eager to play.

I offer my clients several options; they can throw soft plastic DOA CAL jigs or toss live whitebaits. Both worked well with the bait caught more Mackerel and Bluefish while the jigs took the bigger trout. Bait scaled sardines were again easy to gather on the flats. Local anglers I promise if you get away from shrimp and move to catching your own bait will see positive results. A quality cast net is key as with nets you get what you pay for. Size varies depending on both the bait you are after and the depth of water you target baits. The majority of the year I use a 10’ 3/8” mesh Moonlighter cast net.

With a good outgoing tide I set up on Ft Desoto area potholes that have been holding Redfish as the water moves out from the Mangroves. While up in my tower it did not take long to find a school, I set the boat upwind as to allow long casts in the target zone as to not spook the school. Scaled sardines under a 2’ under a cork were our tactic. We managed 4 redfish in a short time before the school moved on. With the winds picking up again I could not relocate the school. We finished the day working small islands that offered protection from the winds. We continued catching snook, trout, jacks and flounder.

When the winds blow Tampa Bay has numerous options that allow both outstanding fishing and a comfortable day. As with any windy day be safe and let common sense prevail as there’s always tomorrow. Better safe than sorry.

Capt. Steven

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