What's hot: This past weekend, kingfish, including a few 40-pounders, were caught in good numbers off St. Pete Beach. If the wind stays out of the east, there's a good chance schools will stay close to the beach. If the water gets dirty, move to 30-foot hard bottoms west of Blind Pass or the artificial reefs.
Tips: The redfish bite has been strong during the day's highest tide. Some days, they are feeding on cutbait. Other days, they want only live pinfish and sardines. The best cutbaits are pinfish, sardines, threadfins and ladyfish. Free-line the baits along the edge of the school because casting into the middle spooks them. Switch to live bait when the tide gets high. Circle hooks will increase your hook-ups. Wait until the line gets tight. Then reel until the hook is set. Big trout are still schooling over the flats. Topwater plugs worked during the low light of the morning will draw strikes and help locate the school. As the sun rises, switch to a jig or sub-surface plug. The bigger trout are also feeding on large scaled sardines.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.