What's hot: Drifting the shallow grass flats in lower Pinellas is on fire right now. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel and bonnethead sharks are there for the taking. The key is proper timing, technique and bait.
Timing: Being at the right place is half the battle. When the tide moves up on the flats, so does the bait and the predators that follow the bait. If a windy, cloudy day just happens to coincide with the rising tide, so much the better.
Technique: Drifting allows more water coverage, which allows more opportunities for strikes. Cast downwind and slowly retrieve the line as the drift continues. Collect the line slowly so hook setting can be accomplished with a taut line. The rig to use is a No. 1 long shank hook tied to a 2-foot section of 25-pound fluorocarbon leader. Attach a weighted float at the junction of the main line and leader.
Bait: Scaled sardines or whitebait is the bait of choice. The easiest way to find these is to look for pelicans diving. Position upwind and drift over the area.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 510-4376