What's hot: Trout have been the most reliable target for the last month. I have been targeting the larger (20-plus inches) "gator" trout in shallow water. The low tides have been occurring first thing in the morning. I watch the water rise and use oyster beds as a reference. When the water gets to be halfway up the oyster bed, I work along the flat to the area where mullet are jumping. I use the largest bait possible to catch bigger fish. Trout cannot resist a large scaled sardine.
Tactics: When the large trout stop biting, I move and look for deep grass in 3 to 4 feet of water. I start my drift on the upwind edge of the flat. Wind helps you work the area. If your drift is too fast, deploy a sea anchor, which is a small parachute that opens in the water to provide resistance. This slows you down and allows you to work the area more effectively. If you have a productive drift, use your Global Positioning System track to set up another drift in the same area.
Bait: I use my bottom machine to locate bait in deep, cooler water around the eddies of bridge pilings. I throw my 12-foot cast net up current and let it sink to the bottom to trap the bait. The larger scaled sardines are usually found in deeper water.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.