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Daily fishing report
By DOUG HEMMER
Published April 3, 2005
Bait is showing up on the flats of lower Tampa Bay.
Look for pelicans and cormorants working the surface, and drift across the flats looking for bait flashing near potholes. You need a good pair of polarized amber sunglasses to see bait well. If you don't see bait, chum the area with jack mackerel and cornmeal and see if any bait shows in the slick.
Most throws of the net have produced scaled sardines, large white bait and pinfish. These are the best for redfish, snook and trout.
Small schools of snook are hanging close to the points that line the edges of bridges near the Skyway. They are only feeding during strong tides. Most are 20 to 30 inches, and a few will burn all the line off a 12-pound outfit.
Use a 40-pound leader to prevent cutoffs. During peak high tides, they will move onto the flats, so target them during the last part of the incoming tide.
Redfish are showing up on the shallowest parts of the flats, and anglers with a boat that drafts 8 inches or less can fish these areas. When the tide reaches 12 inches, the bite is usually over.
Anglers with deep-draft boats should work the deep grass piles on the edges of the flats. You can catch plenty of trout when the tide is moving.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.