What's hot: Now that the heat of summer has arrived, you can troll or bottom fish. The heat can become oppressive. So a moving boat while trolling creates a breeze. No matter where you fish, there are numerous options — artificial reefs, shipping channel markers, shipwrecks and hardbottom areas — that harbor bait. Targeted trolling species now are Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bonita and barracuda. Spanish mackerel can be found in all depths.
Tip: It can be frustrating to try to catch fish that are visible but refuse to strike. They are often feeding on very small baits, and it might be necessary to switch to 00 spoons or streamer flies trolled behind a No. 1 planer or trolling sinker. Usually, kingfish would be gone by now. But we are finding small concentrations along the shipping channel and on several artificial reefs. Slow-trolled baits caught on site or plugs and spoons trolled deep have been successful. Larger kingfish have been caught on flatlines deployed while bottom fishing. Barracuda can be found on all wrecks and artificial reefs and large ledges. Slow-trolling large bluerunners usually entice a bite. Trolling spoons, plugs and tube lures at 6 knots over structures also will work.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.