Redfish schools have invaded the flats around Pinellas Point. On a low tide in the morning, I look for a school on an outer sandbar. These fish are staged on the edge waiting for the tide to come in. Once the water level rises, the fish move further onto the flat closer to the shoreline with mangroves and oyster bars. I start early in the morning by throwing my 12-foot cast net under one of the many bridges. I pick the brightest light and throw on the down-current side. The net sinks quickly away from the pilings, preventing it from getting caught on the bridge. Scaled sardines, threadfins and pinfish have all been caught in the net. Using a large 12-foot cast net fills the live well quickly. Terns and seagulls have learned to look for boats. I stopped throwing live-bait chum because the birds have been relentless about stealing our baits. Once terns start diving into the water, they will spook reds and other targeted species. I like to use a 2/0 circle hook when targeting reds. Redfish have thick skin around their mouth; this allows the circle hook to grab the corner once the line is tightened. Do not set the hook, let the fish pull tight and just start to reel. The hook will set itself.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.