What's hot: Grouper, snapper and now sheepshead have remained consistent along the rock-laden edges of the ships' channel from the Skyway Bridge to several miles inside the bay. Many areas along the A, B and C cuts of the channel have long been personal favorites. Many sheepshead use the channel toward the gulf in preparation for their spawn. Large females will gang up on these rock piles, fattening up for the trip. Though whitebait would be my first choice for the mangrove snapper and pinfish for the grouper, you won't get sheepshead on either. Shrimp is a better choice and lets you get in on all the action.
Tips: Easterly winds projected this week will keep nearshore gulf waters relatively calm and provide ideal conditions for getting silver trout. Productive areas have been hard bottom within a half mile of Redington Long Pier. You'll find them bunched up on a bottom recorder from 12-17 feet and catch them two at a time on tandem rigged jigs.
Fog alert: We were blanketed by a fog bank on a recent trip and at times had 50 feet of visibility. A return trip that should have taken 20 minutes took two hours, requiring a trail on my GPS left by a previous trip.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.