Trout is still the name of the game in St. Joseph Sound along the north Pinellas coast. Several areas are beginning to hold good numbers of trout. The spoil islands along the intercoastal waterway are always a good bet, however, several shallow water flats are producing good numbers as well. I am taking a combination of artificial lures and live shrimp on most trips, but there has been a small amount of bait to cast net since the water has warmed to the high 60s and low 70s.
The water is extremely clear, and the trout are very shy. Long casts downwind make a huge difference in the number of fish that can be caught. I often see anglers casting relatively close to their own boats. Many species are easily spooked by boats, so it is imperative to position yourself up wind when at all possible. It can make the difference between catching a couple of fish or really getting them fired up.
Redfish are around but not really schooling as much as they will in the coming months. Targeting mullet schools is a reliable method for locating redfish on the flats. We should see higher tides in the next few weeks, allowing redfish to approach the mangroves, shorelines and oyster beds. But until then, low tide potholes, and mullet schools are the best method. Low tides can provide visibility to see the small channels and paths on and off of the flats making it easier to target redfish and other species moving about.