Spawn: Mullet have moved off the flats to do their annual spawning. These massive schools move offshore by the thousands, often looking like a black ball rolling through the water. Redfish and trout are affected by the migration. Mullet schools provide cover for those inshore species, and without cover, reds and trout will leave shallow water flats.
Offshore: Now that redfish and trout are hard to find in shallow water, I have been fishing offshore. The nice weather has allowed me to explore a number of wrecks. Heading offshore with the live wells full of sardines can produce extreme action. Live bait chumming on top of a wreck creates a feeding frenzy. Amberjack have provided some of the best action I have seen. They have been very aggressive in chasing chummers, often exploding out of the water. Heavy spinning gear loaded with 65-pound braid is needed.
Bait: This time of year, it is usually tough to find scaled sardines, also known as whitebait. Above-average temperatures have kept these prized baitfish around and easy to find. I have been able to keep up on the location and movement, filling the well every time I take a charter. Many bay area bridges are holding threadfins and sardines. Pelicans diving next to the pilings indicate bait is there.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.