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Daily fishing report

JIM HUDDLESTON
Published September 25, 2005

St. Joseph Sound has a strong crop of redfish. There has been a consistent bite through all tidal phases, with average fish 20 to 24 inches. Schools of 28- to 30-inchers are pushing across shallow flats. But with clear water, these big breeders are easily spooked.

High water in the morning is a good time to hit covered oyster bars. Corking live sardines and silver-dollar-size pinfish off the edges where the shell meets the grass works well. Strongly scented soft-plastics in shrimp or crab patterns put even more redfish in the boat. Artificials can be kept in the strike zone longer; live bait swims away from danger. Slowly work the soft-plastics over the submerged bars and allow the smell to attract predators.

At midday the incoming low water will have schools pushing onto the skinny flats in search of food. Larger fish can be seen pushing wakes as they chase baitfish across the grass flats. A strong "V" wake with rippling behind it indicates schools of larger fish. Stealth is key in getting close.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at 727 439-9017 or at jim@captainhud.com

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