What's hot: Redfish and snook seldom turn down large threadfins and scaled sardines. At this time of year, they can be found in the deeper parts of the intercoastal waterway. Look for pelicans doing high dives into the channel. The higher they start their dive, the bigger the bait. Another thing to notice is how fast the pelicans eat. When they keep their heads down to filter out water, baits are small. Look for pelicans that throw their heads back and eat right after hitting the water. Move to where the pelican just dived and let your cast net sink to the bottom before retrieving it.
What else: Sheepshead are moving south from the Gandy area and hanging out under the docks north of the Skyway. They will continue to travel toward the beach areas for spawning. Chum the area with fresh, cut shrimp. Cast a small chunk of shrimp upcurrent of the school and let it drift back to the fish. Don't set the hook until your line moves. Most of these fish will be large. A 20-pound line with 30-pound leader will keep the sheepshead from cutting you off on the pilings. They are hard to clean but one of the best-tasting fish from our waters.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.