What's hot: If you're looking to keep your rod bent, now's the time. A variety of inshore species including Spanish mackerel, sheepshead, speckled trout, pompano, flounder and a host of other inhabitants are eating just about everything tossed their way.
Such was the day when Don Bickel of Crawfordsville, Ind., took his two grandsons, Dietrich and George Shireman, out.
Visiting a rock pile adjacent to a sandy spit, the trio tried their luck with the cagey "convict" fish known as sheepshead. Using small pieces of cut shrimp, the three northerners had a tough time at first feeling the bite. Finally, after figuring when to set the hook, they ultimately put 11 in the cooler. Dietrich added to the mix with his first Spanish mackerel and was awed by the mouthful of razor-sharp teeth.
Next stop, we used root beer-colored jigs at the edge of a high sand bar ridge that drops off to a turtle grass flat. Bickel was first to land a speckled trout. George followed with a keeper of his own. It wasn't long before they added two more trout for dinner.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 510-4376.