Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area. Look for them in the usual haunts. So far, I have run into only one school in the Fort De Soto area. Threadfins and scaled sardines are starting to show up around the Sunshine Skyway and should start migrating onto the grass flats with the water temperatures rising. Trout fishing in some areas has been producing big numbers of smaller fish, while other spots have been producing larger fish. Arrange a drift in water 3-4 feet over grass flats and work the edge. The difference from the sand to the grass has been holding smaller speckled trout. These fish are providing a lot of action. Larger gator trout have been holding in deeper sand holes on shallower grass flats. These are areas I have learned about over the years, as it takes time on the water to figure out the local grass flats. On one recent charter, one school of black drum was found roaming the flats around Pinellas Point. They have been following sand bars on lower tides. Fish that have been caught have weighed more than 40 pounds. Drum like crustaceans, so shrimp-imitation jigs have drawn a few strikes.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.