What's hot: When the wind blows hard out of the north, the low tide will be lower than normal. Extreme low tides push the fish off the flats and stack them in the deeper parts of the drop-off. Some of these areas will be accessible by land, so anglers can fish without getting their feet wet. One area I used to fish was the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway that runs from the south end of the Misner Bridge south to the rest area for the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Most of the fish drop into the channel 15 to 20 feet deep. This area holds trout and grouper.
Lures: Use artificials that sink to the bottom. A quarter-ounce jig will get to the bottom faster than a lighter one. Rig the jig with a 3-inch shad tail or a 5-inch jerkbait. White, green and red are the best colors. Let the jig sink to the bottom and use a slow retrieve that keeps the jig on the bottom. Another of my favorite lures is a hard-body plug that has three treble hooks. During the retrieve, twitch the rod tip every five cranks of the reel to give the plug some action. This will draw a reaction strike.
Tip: Check the tide charts and wind direction to know when to go to this area. To have dry land from the road to the channel, you'll need a tide that's negative 10 or lower.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.