What's hot: Being a versatile angler this time of year is a must for consistent catches. Experimenting with different species can turn a slow day on the flats into a stellar outing. Fish such as pompano, black drum, mackerel, flounder and snapper all bite well when it is blazing hot, all are delicious, and are rarely targeted. Mangrove snapper are around docks, bridges or good hard-bottom areas. They are expert bait stealers, so bring some extra bait.
Tip: The deployment of a chum block is a viable investment. Fish will come from afar to see what all the smell is about. It definitely enhances the bite. Mackerel, snapper, sharks and an occasional cobia are among species that will check out the food source. And properly dispose of remnant chum. A day or two in a boat hatch will cause a person to never repeat the mistake.
Update: The Davis Islands boat ramp has been refurbished, making it a nice alternative to Gandy, which gets very busy on any nice weekend. There are great areas to fish around that region, and not as much fishing pressure on that side of the bay.
Captain Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx