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By JIM HUDDLESTON
Published September 12, 2007
What's hot: With water temperatures cooling, inshore gamefish have started to find different types of structure to hold on. Snook are moving inside the passes and are holding on spoil islands and canal mouths. These linesiders have been slow to bite, so patience is key when setting up on a small school. Keeping the bait near the bottom with a small split-shot weight will increase an angler's chance.
The redfish bite has been best the week before the full and new moon. The large, breeder fish have moved inshore during these peak high tides. They will school up and work down a flat or mangrove edge to feed as the tides moves in.
Look for wading birds at lower tides to give away the best spots on a grass bank. Using copper, weedless spoons and motor oil-colored jerkbaits has worked best at lower water. Try to keep a good casting distance from schooling fish, as once one is spooked, the whole pack will run off.
Tactics: The use of dead baits, such as pinfish, sardines or ladyfish, will leave a scent trail in the water that redfish will find more easily. Snook will also feed on this. Using fresher bait will increase the scent.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 727 439-9017.