What's hot: Bottom fishing in Tampa Bay can be rewarding if weather prevents offshore trips. Last week, we caught sheepshead, mangrove snapper, grunts and grouper in the 35- to 40-foot edges of the ships channel 5 miles inside the Skyway during the last of the outgoing and first of the incoming tides. For sheepshead, mangos and grunts, use 20-pound tackle, 11/2 feet of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader, a No. 1 hook and 2-ounce sinker. Whitebait is preferred for mangos; small whole or shrimp halves can catch them all. Grouper are in the rocky edges and ledges along the channel. Use pinfish on heavy tackle.
Tactics: Eye tide changes. Strong tides influenced by the current full moon phase can make it hard to effectively get and stay down without too much weight.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.