Tomlinson: Use pinfish, white bait, cut mullet when targeting redfish

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The weather made it difficult earlier in the week, but the fishing was productive throughout the region. Our summer conditions continue to keep good numbers of quality trout in the deeper flats, and a “hit or miss” redfish bite early in the day when it is cooler.
Use pinfish, white bait, cut mullet when targeting redfish
Claire Giannaula caught a limit of trout and two sea bass last week with Capt. Keith Tomlinson off Hernando Beach. KEITH TOMLINSON
In 8-12 feet of water we are finding trout, a few mackerel, sea bass, sharks, and other species on the move and feeding. The trout bite is good but be willing to target different depths and bottom until you locate them.

I usually have my clients use white 3” GULP shrimp on a 1⁄4 oz. jig and slowly bounce them across the grass. Another great tactic is to net some white bait and hook them through the nose with the same jig. The white bait can be very productive if you can locate it.

The redfish bite will be best early in the day when conditions are cool. Target structure like saw grass, mangrove’s, rocky bottom, or oyster bars on a moving tide. I prefer a higher tide early in the day and we should have good water around sunrise this weekend. Pinfish, white bait, and cut mullet are my go-to baits in summer. Make long cast to structure with mullet activity and be ready for a passing red to test your tackle.

Keep an eye on the sky this time of year because thunder storms can develop quickly. Being on the open water with lightning in the area is a bad combination. Boaters usually have time to flee as a storm approaches as long as they stay aware of the conditions. When in doubt, it is a good idea to side with caution and stay clear.

Good luck out there and tight lines!

Capt. Keith Tomlinson runs Bulldog Fishin Charters out of Hernando Beach. Contact him at or (352) 238-3581.