The bite is absolutely lights out right now! Fishing has been some of the best I have seen when the conditions present themselves. With that said it seems to me that this year we have had quite a few late season fronts that are producing a lot of wind, which can present it's challenges.
The temps are starting to creep up and you can feel the humidity start to rise as well- my advice is get out there now while the fish are still in their happy zone! Redfish, snook, and trout have provided a steady enough bite that we haven't gone looking for much more. With that said though I have heard reports of nearly everything else with a solid bite as well- mackerel, kings, cobia starting to get thicker, tarpon starting to eat, and some snapper moving into the bay!
The flats fishing has been most successful with live bait, or dead chunks. Schools of redfish are littered throughout the bayside flats from Pinellas Point to north of the Causeway. Big snook are also creeping around the flats and are willing to eat if you are patient. I usually tell clients not to cast to the ones they see, but fire to ones or areas they don't see. These fish seem to slowly slumber around and pick up a bait when you least expect it. Here is Skip with his 35" trophy snook caught on the flats! The big redfish have also been playing nice and if you can get them content you can have a lot of fun. One key to this is not pressing your trolling motor too hard right at them. I see this time and time again and although they are there and get tons of pressure, the reds still don't seem to like being trolling motored right on top of! Move slow, keep a keen eye, and cast far...then hang on! Here are brothers Kevin and Brian with 3 over 30" redfish all caught at the same time between the two of them. Talk about a circus trying to land them all!
Bait is starting to get thick on the flats, and the fish are happy and willing to eat- life is good on the waters of Tampa Bay! Be respectful to the captains trying to keep clients happy and make a living, and enjoy the beautiful estuary we have!