What's hot: Large schools of black drum are moving to the nearshore waters of the gulf. Some schools have more than a thousand fish that are in the 30- to 60-pound range. The schools we've been targeting have moved over the flats of lower Tampa Bay, which makes finding schools easy. The water is a reddish yellow and the surface shakes like a school of redfish. Normally a dark color, spawning drum look more like their cousin the redfish. You can keep one drum of more than 24 inches, but larger ones are a poor food source and should be released.
What's good: Redfish schools are starting to show during the end of the incoming tide. They won't feed when they hear outboard engines and trolling motors. When they do feed you can offer them lures or live or dead bait.
Tips: Use large jigs on the black drum and gold spoons on the redfish. In areas that are void of pinfish, use a large live shrimp to entice the redfish. If the black drum move into the deeper waters, you will need to wait for them to surface after they sound. More times than not, they will surface in the direction they were heading before the school went deep.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.