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The hot days are good for inshore anglers.
By DAVE WALKER
Published March 15, 2007
What's hot: A string of warm days has opened the floodgates for inshore anglers. Snook and reds are eating everything in sight. Snook are heading out of the backwaters and rivers and back onto the flats. These fish are hungry from the winter, and as water temperatures rise, the metabolic rate of fish increases; therefore, the fish must eat more. Reds are hanging in the large mullet schools on the flats.
Tackle: Live bait is a valuable asset. With the return of sardine schools, they can be collected with a cast net. Live shrimp purchased at a bait shop will produce nicely as well. The water in Tampa Bay is exceptionally clear, and the use of monofilament line can be an advantage. Braided types of lines add confidence when hooked up with a large snook charging for the mangrove roots, but sometimes fish see the line, even with long leaders, and will not bite.
Techniques: Float rigs or free-lined baits are the most popular techniques for spring flats fishing.
Captain Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at www.snookfish.com
For today's tides chart, see the weather package on 2A, or online at outdoors.tampabay.com.