Captain’s Corner: Fishing in the bay with Red Tide in the gulf

Published September 12 2018
Updated September 13 2018

Red Tide has started to affect our beaches, so Iíve stayed away from fishing the gulf. Threadfin herring and scaled sardines can be found in the bay, which is free of Red Tide. Spanish mackerel, cobia, sharks, mangrove snapper and jack crevalle can easily be found using threadies and sardines. Redfish schools continue to invade the shallow-water flats in search of crustaceans. Sea trout, one of the most popular and easiest of all to catch, are starting to show up everywhere on the grass flats now that water temperatures are lower. Learning how to throw a cast net can be one of the best things anyone could learn in our area. Weíre fortunate to have some of the healthiest and widest variety of baitfish anywhere. Letís hope it stays that way after this bout of Red Tide. Filling the live well with threadfins, scaled sardines and pinfish provides action for any targeted species. The goal is to have the proper bait for anything that might happen out on the water. Iíve been taking advantage of the deep grass flats in 5-9 feet. Once set over the grass, start live-bait chumming. That starts a feeding frenzy of any species. Action is fast and furious, and every cast results in a strike. On a recent trip, we caught more than 13 species of fish.

Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit