What's hot: Tarpon still are roaming the nearshore waters, particularly along the beaches of Manatee County. Soaking shad on the bottom has produced as well or better than any other technique. Though most tournament fishing has concluded, anticipate good tarpon activity through the end of the month.
Mixing it up: Scalloping is a good fishing alternative and it's easy. From St. Petersburg, we trailer north to Bayport, near Weeki Wachee. Another 7- to 8-mile boat ride north puts you near Homosassa and the fertile hunting grounds. All it takes is a mask, snorkel, fins and a catch bag. We've been in 8 feet of water or less, which makes the scallops accessible to the kids and old-timers alike. It doesn't take long to get a vessel limit.
What's next: August has long been our most productive month for mangrove snapper and grouper while fishing the edges and ledges of the ships channel inside Tampa Bay. Mangrove snapper will gather from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to several miles inside, including the many artificial reefs. This time of year many of these fish are full grown.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.