What's hot: The key to a successful trip this month is to fish in deeper water. With the water temperature stuck at around 88 degrees, anything less than 5 feet of water makes for tough fishing. It is tough for bait to survive when the water gets this hot, so that makes fish move to deeper water. Now is the time to think outside the box. Mangrove snapper is the hot fish, and they love the small bait that is all over Tampa Bay. Make sure to throw a quarter-inch net. Mangrove snapper can be found in shipping channels, bridges and channel markers, and at any structure that might have good moving water. It seems the faster the tide moves, the better the bite gets. A knocker rig works best. Use 30-pound fluorocarbon and a 1/0 hook. Start with 1 ounce and slowly increase the weight as the tide moves faster. The key is to get the weight on the bottom, then give the reel a crank. It is a quick bite, so be prepared to reel as soon as the weight hits the bottom.
Tarpon update: Plenty of tarpon are still around. They have been all over Egmont Key with the full moon. Look for them to continue to hold here for at least this week. Crab has been the bait of choice.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.