What's hot: Snook season opens Monday. Most schools will still be on the beach. During the first week or two, daylight will shorten, sending the snook to the upper parts of the bay. Late in September, they will move to the docks and bridges inside the passes. As we move into October, most schools will move north along the west side of Tampa Bay. Then it's to the shallows south of the Gandy and the upper parts of Tampa Bay.
Bait: Snook will feed heavily on scaled sardines and whitebait to stock up on protein for winter. Live chumming and free-lined baits should get them feeding. During the low lights of early morning, they will strike at top water plugs.
Deep flats: With the weather hot, grass piles in 4-6 feet of water still hold trout, blue fish, mackerel, ladyfish and small sharks. Chum with live white bait during the incoming tide. Use long-shank hooks to keep the mackerel and blue fish from cutting the leader.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.