What's hot: Mackerel are still chewing their way through Tampa Bay. Big ones, up to 6 pounds, are ripping drags from the Skyway bridge all the way up to the Gandy. Large schools of threadfins visible from the surface are an indicator of mackerel activity and a good place to try.
Tips: When fishing or boating on a busy holiday weekend, get to the ramp a little later than the "dawn patrol" crowd. It is much easier and less frustrating at the without hoards of eager anglers scrambling for the next available stall at the launch. Then return in the early afternoon before everyone wants to get to air conditioning and the next available shower. On weekends or traditionally busy holidays, my strategy is to fish where the boats aren't. Being versatile is a must for summer fishing.
Tactics: On a recent trip, we tried desperately for reds. But they were not cooperative. We changed gears and went a bit south and found a good batch of mackerel to save the day. We then headed toward the mangroves and caught really nice snook. Once again, change it up if things aren't going your way.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (727) 944-3474.