What's hot: Grouper, flounder, sea bass, sheepshead and cobia are just a few of the species you can expect to find around inshore rock piles now. That's exactly what Andy Reeves, Dick Shapiro and Don and Rick Short experienced recently.
Bait: We netted scaled sardines and small pinfish to go with our purchased live shrimp. Having a variety of bait is the key to keeping the bite going. When one bait gets the cold shoulder, drop down something different to spark the feeding again.
Tackle: Even though the guys were fishing the rocks, light-tackle 20-pound braided line and 30-pound fluorocarbon leader was all that was necessary.
To start, we tossed in a handful of cut bait to stink up the water. Chumming always helps, but the idea is to arouse the fish, not feed them. Dick and Don both hooked cobia, which eventually crossed their lines and put Dick's around the anchor line. Don landed his cobia, and Dick lost his, but he later brought up a 25-inch gag grouper.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376.