What's hot: Most game fish that swim in our waters are available this month. There are reports of snook, redfish and trout feeding heavily in lower Tampa Bay. The best action has come from anglers using scaled sardines. The snook are hanging along the docks and bridges closest to the beach. Schools of redfish can be found in most of the normal redfishing areas. The trout are still in the 3- to 4-foot zone on the dropoff of the flats. Look for areas that have a mixture of sand and grass. Kingfish, mackerel, cobia and bonito are moving in. The end of the shipping channel has small kings hanging near the bait schools. Larger kings can be found over the artificial reefs 30 to 40 feet deep.
Tactics: Mackerel are all over the place. Look for birds working the surface. They will be feeding on the pieces of bait left by a school of mackerel. Fish where you see mackerel striking the surface. The bonito move fast when feeding. Look for surface strikes that are larger than a mackerel. Move in front of the school and let them come to you. Spoons and topwater plugs work well, but if you want the action to get wild, chum the school with live white bait. This slows the school and keeps it close to the boat.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.