Drumming the docks: Many rivers and residential canals systems in Tampa Bay are flooded with redfish and black drum of all sizes right now. We have been targeting them with much success fishing docks and from the south shore of Tampa Bay to the upper bay. The redfish have been 15-30 inches and provide consistent action and a tasty dinner. The black drum have been mixed in with their redfish cousins and have been in the 10- to 25-inch range with a few larger schools of 15- to 25-pound fish milling around.
Rig it right: The most productive rig lately has been a 10- to 20-pound test fluorocarbon leader with a size 1 hook with a one-eighth ounce split shot pinched about 6-12 inches up the line. Medium live shrimp have been the ticket but whitebait will work well too. Pitch baits upcurrent of the dock or structure and let them drift toward it as naturally as possible.
Timing is everything: Use a tide chart or app to plan your day. Fish deep-water docks on the lower parts of the tide and save the shallower dock for when the tide comes up.
Matt Santiago can be reached at (813) 205-2327, CaptainMattSantiago@gmail.com and FishingGuideTampa.com.