What's hot: Jigging the big bridges for a variety of species — especially black drum — is working well and should get better as the month wears on. It's a great option for the inshore angler since the fish at the bridges will eat in the heat of summer when the bite in the shallows slows.
Tackle: Black drum are averaging 40-45 pounds, but don't fret: Your inshore outfits will suffice. Technique trumps tackle. The drum live and feed on the pilings. Use a minimum of a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader and any pompano jig (with a pink fly teaser). Drop your lure at the base of the piling, then move it slowly up and down. When the rod doubles over, you have a drum.
Technique: Getting drum away from the pilings is a game of angles. You might lose some tackle. Once you have the fish a safe distance from the structure, wear the fish down to get your photo before release. Drum are durable, but do a revival after the fight and before the photo. They have zero food value, so release them in a "revived condition" where the fish is lively on release and others can enjoy that fish for decades.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.