What's hot: Take aim at Spanish mackerel and speckled trout. Both species are abundant and eager to take your offerings. Twin brothers Brandon and Steve Monsanto along with their significant others, Telina Privett and Danielle Monsanto, found out just how eager recently on a half-day charter.
Tactics: Starting out before sunrise, we found ourselves at a local bait spot filling the livewell with greenbacks (threadfin herring) and whitebait (scaled sardines) before we made the trek off St. Pete Beach for the Spanish.
Our mackerel rig was simply a No. 1 long-shank hook with 30-pound leader. It wasn't long before Monsanto got the party started with her drag singing.
"Let 'em run, Danielle," I said. "Once he quits running, then get your line back."
Soon, pictures were being snapped, and Danielle had a huge mackerel in the fish box. Privett wasn't to be outdone, and neither were the twins. All had nice, healthy 3- to 5-pound mackerel.
Unfortunately, porpoise horned in on the action and slowed the bite a bit. Because the tide was starting to ebb as well, we turned our attention to trout. We went inside the bay to the shallow grass flats.
Drifting in 3-4 feet of water, we used the same rigs that we did for the mackerel, except we attached a float about 2 feet up the line to keep the minnows out of the grassy bottom. Action was hot with blues, sharks, ladies and trout. And after it was all said and done, four upper-slot trout were added to the fish box.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376.