Early morning topwater bite is still the way to go on the flats of Northern Sarasota Bay. Mirr-O-Lure's Mirro-Mullet and She Pup are getting lots of action from redfish and trout. Cast your plugs in and around the mullet schools that make their way on to the flats. Mirro-Dines will keep the bite going as the tides get higher and the fish go deeper. Fly fishing with foam and deerhair sliders will get a good topwater strike for those using fly rods. Just be sure to use clear floating line (www.monic.com), so as not to spook fish when blind casting, and mono leaders, to help the fly riding higher on the surface.
On the beaches, fly fishing takes center stage. For snook, small light colored baitfish will do the trick. Stealth is paramount, so whatever you can do to not spook the snook will help. Some things you can do are: walking away from the surf to keep your shadow from spooking snook in the first trough, using clear floating or sinking lines, using longer leaders if you are not using clear lines. For tarpon, fly fishers will have their best chance by choosing a black/purple Toad pattern early, then switching up to a chartreuse/yello Toad pattern later in the morning. Anchoring or drifting isolated shorelines will give you your best shot in 4-15 feet of water. Just pick a line on the beach and be patient. They will eventually come to you.
Fly fishing for snook on the Eastern shores of Tampa Bay has also been very consistent. Snook 18-34" have been laying in the white sand along mangrove shorelines. EP Everglades Specials and other EP baitfish patterns are your best bets. Using the same stealth and tackle techniques that work on the beach will work here, too. Just make sure your skiff is quiet. Poling your skiff will be the best way to ensure your skiff does not spook these snook.