What's hot: At this time of year, we have extreme low tides that push fish out of the shallows and into the deeper parts of the flats until they reach the drop-off at the end of the flats. These areas are called the fish highway.
The best highways are where you see mullet jumping in the shallow water. These are the spots you want to target during the end of the outgoing tide. When the water falls far enough to push the mullet off of the flats, you will find trout, redfish and snook hanging in the nearest pothole. If you learn the topography of the flats, you will have a good area to target during most outgoing tides.
Baits: Lures — topwater plugs, jigs and spoons — will draw the most strikes. A free-lined, tail-hooked shrimp works if the pinfish don't eat it before a game fish locates the shrimp. Topwater plugs work when there's no grass on the surface. If the area has surface grass, the plug will be fouled before a fish can find it. This is why jig fishing will produce more strikes than most offerings.
When using a tail-hooked shrimp, jerk the shrimp every few turns of the reel. This makes the shrimp look like it's trying to escape and draws a strike.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.