Dear Captain " Where is the best place to catch redfish in the Tarpon Springs area? "
Welcome to the "Fishing Capital of the World", and welcome to The Online Fisherman! Lets tackle (no pun intended) the bait question first.
Whitebait aka the scaled sardine or pilchard can be caught in 4 feet of water just north of the lighthouse on Anclote Key. If you are registered at The Online Fisherman, go to the "Where to Fish" tab on the top menu. Click on it and go to our fishy spot map. There will be a bait map there also with the exact GPS coordinates for that area, where the bait will be. It will also tell you how to go about catching the bait. Also I will be giving a "How to catch bait" class on May 3rd, at 7 pm at Tampa Fishing Outfitters 3196 W. Osborne Ave Tampa FL 33614. I can point out some bait and fishing areas to you at the class. As far as redfish, the no-motor zone at Caladesi Island is one of the better and most consistent area's that will continually produce a good redfish bite.
Live scaled sardines and cut bait like ladyfish and mullet work well. I would be using both live and fresh-cut dead bait at the same time. During the dead-low tides you can slowly approach the area and look for tailing redfish. When the tide is higher, hit the oyster bars and mangrove shore lines that are covered with water. Any area you find that has a grass flat leading to a oyster bar, mangrove shoreline and deep water close by is a sure bet that at some time redfish will be occupying the area. You just have to fish it on all different tides to figure out what time during what tide and moon phase that the redfish cruise into that area. Captain Mike Cole will also be at the above seminar and he can point out a few redfish areas for you in that area.
The last thing I would mention is sometimes you will locate large schools of redfish in these areas and they will be difficult to catch. Sometimes not willing to eat. Chumming helps immensely!!!