What's hot: At this time of year, people have tailing redfish and big speckled trout on their minds. The shallow and negative tides do not allow for every angler to target the fish in skinny water unless you like to wade for fish. Wade fishing is not for everyone, but you're in luck. Tampa Bay and its surrounding waters are full of cold-water species such as speckled trout, silver trout and sheepshead. All of those can be targeted in deeper water. There have been good numbers of big sheepshead caught on the rock piles and artificial reefs inside Tampa Bay.
Tactics: Live shrimp on a small hook has worked well. Just make sure to keep a tight line so you can feel the bump. Your first reaction is to yank. I suggest waiting until you see your line move off before you set the hook. Of course, bridges, docks and oyster bars are favorite hideouts as well.
Tips: Big schools of silver trout have been in the Gandy channel and most artificial reefs in the bay. They almost look like big pods of bait on your bottom machine. A live shrimp and artificial shrimp have worked well on a jig head of one-eighth ounce.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.