What's hot: Baitfish have arrived. Throwing large cast nets in deep water around bridges or pier structures has brought ample amounts of scaled sardines. The sardines are considered the premier bait choice for all inshore species, and the top three have been responding well. Snook, redfish, and trout have been eager to feed on the lively baits.
Technique: Tossing out a few free ones, referred to as "chummers," has jump-started the action and put the fish in a feeding mood. The competitive nature of the fish generates aggressive strikes, often popping the surface as they chase down the baitfish. Casting a bait immediately in the vicinity of the surface strike usually results in a hook-up.
Rig right: The minimalist approach to tackle is best to reduce any visual presence. Light 10-pound line attached to an 18-inch leader of 20- to- 30-pound test combined with a 1/0 circle hook is all that's needed; no swivels, no weights, no floats. Keeping it simple will produce more fish.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at email@example.com and (727)510-1009.