Night fishing: Night can be the most relaxing time to fish. Residential dock lights can attract a variety of species. Snook is my top target but trout, redfish, jack crevalle, ladyfish and mangrove snapper hang around these structures. Approach is the key. I like a trolling motor on the lowest setting to get within casting range then quietly drop anchor. Heavier braided line along with a tighter drag will help if a fish runs for the pilings. Select-sized shrimp is the best bait.
Second option: Tarpon fishing at night is another break from the heat. Throw the cast net directly under a bridge light. A few throws should yield threadfins, scaled sardines and pinfish. I anchor under the brightest light on the upcurrent side. The anchor has a drop buoy attached so I can throw the anchor line when a fish is hooked. Heavier tackle is needed to land the fish. I use two rods, one with a float; the other is free-lined. I drop the baits back to the shadow line on the bridge and wait. When a fish bites, I get the motor started and drop the buoy, and hope the fish hasn't run me into the bridge pilings.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit www.captainrobgorta.com.