What's hot: Flounder, kings, mangrove snapper and mackerel round out this week, and with a full moon tonight, tides are moving and shaking the stomachs of the fish. What a time to be fishing the nearshore artificial reefs. Flounder have rebounded and are plentiful in the sandy areas around the reefs. This time of year, never fish offshore without having a flat-lined bait swimming around as you try for bottom fish. Kingfish are near the beaches, along the swim buoys and will take a fresh pinfish, blue runner, legal-sized mackerel or ladyfish. You can deploy bait with or without a bobber, just ensure the rod is secure.
Techniques: Make sure you have a wire-stinger rig for the flat-lined bait so a kingfish doesn't cut you off. For bottom fishing, live or frozen baits will do. I like to have a few lively pinfish handy and once the bite starts, I put the pinfish down and see what it can find for me.
Tips: Reef fishing, by law, requires you to use an inline circle hook inside of 9 miles. Also, this time of year many fronts roll in, and a northwest wind is torturous. Always check the weather.
Jackie Otto can be reached at Betts Fishing Center (727) 518-7637 or firstname.lastname@example.org