East winds make nearshore waters clear. During trips we have seen cobia and sharks crossing the sandy shoals that line the mouths of most passes. This is a great opportunity to sight cast to these fish. Idle along the edge of the sand and look for the shadows of fish crossing the bar. Stay upwind of the area so you can drift into casting distance when fish are sighted. Cobia are striking live pinfish and eel jigs cast in front of their path. To keep from spooking them, make your cast 40 feet in front and past the path they are traveling. This will give you time to reel the bait slowly into the path. Sharks also will spook if you cast to close to them. Use the same technique and rig your rods with wire leader and a chunk of ladyfish as bait. Some of the sharks are in the 6- to 7-foot range. Have a de-hooker tool to keep your hands clear of their mouth. Redfish are schooling over oyster bars that have a good number of mullet jumping in the area. They are feeding on cut ladyfish and pinfish. Follow their school as it moves away from the noise of other anglers. Trolling motors and idling engines will keep them moving. They will not feed while moving. Try to stay with the school until it slows and starts feeding.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.