What's hot: This week's major tides will provide great action for all inshore species. Redfish are congregating on top of oyster beds or under mangroves. These schools are extremely sensitive to any kind of unfamiliar pressure. Use extra caution when approaching. Use your trolling motor on the lowest setting possible to prevent spooking fish. Stop the boat as soon as the first fish is seen since there are usually more in the area. The first redfish caught usually spooks the school. If that happens, let them settle and start over.
Tips: The summer spawn has produced a hatch of threadfin herring, scaled sardines and Spanish sardines. Those baits are extremely small and will get caught in the cast net. Be careful when netting bait around the Sunshine Skyway piers. That area is loaded with the new spawn. To locate larger baits, watch your bottom machine in deeper water. Bigger baits show up as a thick cloud. Throw the cast net from the back of the boat where the transducer is. Most of the time, one throw is all it takes to fill the well.
Tackle: Long casts are needed when redfish get spooked. I use a long 7½-foot graphite rod with smaller 30 series reels loaded with 10-pound braid. The light, braided line combined with a longer rod, with the wind at your back, always produces farther casts. Twenty-pound camouflage leader with a 2/0 circle hook finishes the terminal tackle.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.