What's hot: Flounder fishing has been the best I have ever seen in Tampa Bay. The Fort De Soto grass flats are spotted with white, sandy potholes, and the flounder are thick in these areas. Use a small jig (1/8-ounce) with a dark-colored soft body or a small shrimp imitation. Cast into the potholes and let the lure sit before bouncing it on the bottom. When you come to the edge of the sand, you will be in trout territory over the grass, so retrieve the lure slowly, keeping it just above the grass.
Techniques: If you are not successful in one pothole, move to the next one, the deeper the better. Going out on a low tide will expose these deeper potholes, so store their locations for the future. Tidal movement is important; it can flow in either direction, as long as the tide is moving it will trigger fish to eat.
Tips: Flounder snap up bait then move slowly, and sometimes not at all. When you feel something heavy on your line, set the hook. Scent the lures with shrimp or crab oils or use scented soft plastics that help the flounder locate the lure. This time of year live shrimp yield more pinfish than game fish.
Jackie Otto can be reached at Betts Fishing Center at (727) 518-7637 or firstname.lastname@example.org.