Cool livewell: During the summer, high water temperatures can kill the bait in your well. Place a few frozen gallon jugs of water in the cooler. When you move onto the flats, place one in the livewell. This helps keep the bait alive. When most of the ice in the jug melts, replace it and pour the water on a towel to put around your neck to stay cool.
Clean cooler: Use a commercial-grade trash bag for your fish. They can be found in most large hardware stores. This will keep the fish slime from trashing your cooler.
Chum bomb: Fill a small paper bag with chopped bait. Use the heavy weight on a large rod and place it in the bag. Tape it shut, and lower it over the rocks you are fishing. After a few minutes, jerk the rod hard and break the bag open. This will put your chum right over the spot you're fishing. Reel in the bag and start fishing under the boat.
Anchoring: When bottom fishing offshore, knowing the direction of the boat at anchor is important. After the first stop, look at the compass heading before moving to the next spot. Head in that direction when you move over that spot. Drop the anchor, and you should drift right back to your spot.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.