Take your pick: Now is the best time for fishing in the bay area. Tarpon can be targeted off any bridge. The Gandy, Howard Frankland and Sunshine Skyway bridges are the best places to start. While waiting for a tarpon to strike, I'll drop smaller baits for Spanish mackerel. Snook are slowly starting to show up around the beaches in the swash channels. Threadfin herring work best this time of year for tarpon and snook. Redfish have been hanging around oyster bars on the extreme high tides in the afternoon. A small pinfish under a small float is my bait of choice.
More options: Trout still provide action in deeper grass flats. Look for the dark areas in 3 to 5 feet of water and work the edges with a quarter-ounce grub-tail jig. Cobia have been roaming the flats on top of stingrays and spotted eagle rays looking for easy meals. Toss a pinfish around a ray and cobia will likely strike. Spanish mackerel are being caught off all the piers at the Sunshine Skyway and Fort De Soto. A silver spoon with a short length of wire leader is necessary to land these toothy species.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at captainrobgorta.com or (727) 647-7606.