What's hot: Flounder fishing has rebounded in our area since the Red Tide a few years back. The thought of specifically targeting flounder used to not be a viable option. But again we can see what a resilient and healthy ecosystem we have on this coast.
Where to go: Grass flats 3 to 6 feet deep, which have a good mix of sand and grass, make excellent ambush areas for the flat fish. Cast Gulp Shrimp rigged on a quarter-ounce jig head into the middle of the sand and bounce or drag them toward the grass edge. Jetties, rock piles, artificial reefs and hard-bottom areas in the gulf also likely hold flounder. For these spots a live pilchard on a drop-shot rig with a half-ounce egg sinker on the bottom has been working well. When fishing reefs or jetties, try to cast toward the outer edge where the sand meets the rubble. Dragging the rig slowly across the bottom will help the fish find the bait.
What else: Bonus catches of trout and redfish in the gulf have added to the excitement. Grass flats have been warm, making it difficult at times to keep bait alive. The cleaner, more oxygenated gulf water has helped keep frisky bait all day.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.