What's hot: Strong winds last week forced us to focus on trout in protected waters. Extreme low tides, the full moon and the north wind left shallow flats with little or no water. Targeting dropoff zones where the shallow grass tapers into 4- to 5-foot depths while breaking up into sand proved productive. Casting locally with soft, plastic jigs ahead of our drift and working them just above the grass drew numerous strikes.
Tip: When drift fishing with the wind, deploy a parachute-style sea anchor to slow the boat. This allows a more effective presentation. The artificial offering can be worked methodically instead of reeling quickly to take up slack in the line.
Looking ahead: As the gulf waters along our beaches clear and bait pods return, Spanish mackerel should take the spotlight followed by king mackerel. Both will begin to push through our region on their annual spring migration. I prefer to anchor and chum while fishing live bait on light tackle. However, trolling with an array of spoons and plugs often locates the first arrivals quicker.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at email@example.com and (727)510-1009.