Beat the heat: Anglers should get on the water early to avoid the heat and the afternoon thunderstorms. Another option is to fish at night, and around docks and bridges. Because water temperatures are in the upper 80s, anglers are able to spend only the first few hours of the day on the flats. After that, they need to follow the fish to deeper, cooler water.
Prepare: An influx of newly hatched bait is pouring into the Tampa Bay area. Use a ¼-inch mesh cast net to get the bait.
What's hot: It is not too late to target tarpon. In July tarpon like to hang around the bridges and shipping channels. They are holding at the Sunshine Skyway bridge and Port Manatee. The Gandy Bridge is a good place to target them at night. The snook bite has been best on the start of the incoming tide in most places. Find a point with good water flow and you will find snook piled up waiting for the bait to be pushed by. Redfish have been a little harder to target. Patience is the key with these fish. The most success has been with cut bait tossed up under the mangroves on high tide. A lot of keeper grouper are being caught around the Sunshine Skyway and by trolling the shipping channels.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.