I heard a saying years ago that fit quit appropriately to some of my recent fishing trips. “To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target”.

I do not know the originator of that statement but it sure has rang true for me lately. Let me share a couple examples. First, we eased into a area to try to catch a few redfish and trout and before we could get settled in good we had caught 3 cobia and had another break us off. That was a pleasant surprise. Our original target was not cobia, but after the first one was hooked our target quickly changed.

The same thing happened again at the Tamco tournament for wounded veterans in upper Tampa Bay last week. We used the wind to push us into an area loaded with oyster bars that typically holds redfish this time of year and 4 minutes after the chum hit the water we were taking a picture of a 33” snook.

Jokingly I told my client that I knew we could upgrade our snook here. After we released the snook, we did get a redfish that was almost 27”. Great example of the target changing. My point on all of this is if you are out there on the water anything can happen. It is nice to pick a species and have the knowledge to go catch them but fish do not have boundaries and it usually does not matter what’s bending the rod. Especially with children. The warmer weather has the bait on the grass flats and some of the markers so getting bait at the skyway should be less crowded. Scaled sardines are the bait of choice for most fishermen right now.

They are plentiful and just about every fish we have in our area will eat them. The best way to catch them is with a cast net but they can be caught with a sabiki rig. If you want a lot of bait a net is your best bet. Until next time, good luck and be safe on the water. Remember: don’t let your kid be the one that got away, take them fishing.

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Tyler Saxton on vacation from Green Bay, Wisconsin with a nice cobia he caught while fishing with Capt. Ric Liles in Tampa Bay.

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