What's hot: Late August is one of the toughest times to consistently score on inshore species because of hot water, the heat and inconsistent weather. Snapper and other deep-structure-oriented species are cooperating reasonably in Tampa Bay. The water is cooler down deep, and the fish are a little less apprehensive about blasting a live offering. Bottom fishing on hard bottom areas and rock piles usually yields consistent action.
Tip: Tampa Bay has many opportunities for bottom fishing. A little research on the computer and a minor investment in modern electronics can open many opportunities for inshore anglers.
Tactics: Whether inshore or offshore, if a big fish gets you snagged in a structure, give the line some slack. Often when the pressure is released off the line, the fish will eventually swim out, giving anglers a second chance for a fish that would have been a breakoff.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa Bay and can be reached at snookfish.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 310-6531.