The flats fishing is starting to get really good for speckled trout and redfish. We had a trip this morning with two guys and were able to catch a limit of trout and reds by 9:00am. We only caught two short trout, the rest were all keepers with one 22" long. All the redfish were slot reds and nice keepers.
We caught all of our fish in 3' of water, which is a good indication that the fish are starting to move into shallow water. As the temperatures at night continue to cool, we should start to see even more fish in 3' of water. When the night temperatures are consistently in the low 60s, the fishing should get really good and catching a limit will be easy as long as the water is moving.
We didn't have to do anything different this morning when targeting trout compared to redfish. They all seem to be hanging together right now and biting the same baits. As long as the pinfish and shrimp are present on the flats, pinfish and live shrimp will be the bait of choice. We caught every fish this morning on pinfish and live shrimp and didn't use any artificial lures.
We used a popping cork to suspend the live baits and we always cast our baits so that it is floating back to the boat. This ensures that the line is not too tight and the fish can run with the bait once they bite it. We use a 4/0 J hook for the pinfish and hook them through the mouth. For the live shrimp, we use a 2/0 or 3/0 J hook and hook them through the last link of their tail, leaving the hook exposed.
Take the time and catch your own live bait or buy it, as live bait is going to be deadly for the next couple months. Once the water temperatures cool significantly, the pinfish will move offshore and the shrimp will move into the rivers. When this happens, the artificial lures will start being more effective again. But stick with the live bait right now.
This fishing report is brought to you by Captain Jason Witherspoon of Spoon Fed Charters in Keaton Beach, Florida.