What's hot: Concrete bridge structures are radiating heat into the water and concentrating trout in the area. Bright sun and longer days have raised water temperatures close to almost every bridge. But the lingering cold water means most fish are still seeking warmth. Until our water temperatures rise considerably, think like it's January or February and fish chilly water techniques for the best success.
No boat necessary: A good way to take kids fishing is to find a bridge that offers easy access to the seawalls on either end where the bridge meets land. Choose the sunny side. Bouncing or dragging soft plastic jigs slowly across the bottom have been the most productive techniques. Experiment with colors until you find what works, but anything 3 inches long with glitter has worked well for us. Live shrimp have been top producers for children and those who are not familiar with artificial lures.
Bonus catch: An advantage to using shrimp is they can add multiple species to the catch. Sheepshead are coming into their prime season and love shrimp fished close to bridge pilings and on the bottom. A small lead weight may be necessary to hold your offering in the strike zone with a moving current. Other species that could end up in your catch include flounder and black drum, which both make great table fare.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 510-1009.