What's hot: Sheepshead, trout and redfish continue to dominate much of the inshore activity, with much of the action in the protected waters of residential canals. Chilly conditions and a lack of bait on the flats have drawn trout and reds into the canals, and those around Pinellas Point and Coquina Key have been among the most productive. Live shrimp suspended beneath a cork and a variety of jerkbaits have been top producers. Sheepshead can be found around bridge fenders, dock pilings and rock jetties and will fall for shrimp pieces or fiddler crabs.
Other options: For those willing to make the minimum 40-mile one-way trip to where the big boys roam, amberjack can be caught at the springs, wrecks and reefs in more than 100 feet of water.
Land-based angling: A trip to several local fishing piers Saturday revealed little activity. Strong winds and chilly conditions kept most anglers away. Trout, redfish, whiting and sheepshead have been caught at the pier in Redington and similar activity at both piers on Fort De Soto. Some early season mackerel were landed at the south Skyway fishing pier. With the absence of bait along the structure, several were caught on beefed-up gold hook rigs.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.