What's hot: If you like to fish, now is the time. Whether inshore or offshore, I cannot recall a better start to a fishing season than the one we are having. I have chartered all over Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg the past couple of weeks. Name the species, and more than likely, it is being caught.
Tips: Bait is all over the Skyway and has started making its way up into Tampa Bay. Big schools of redfish are everywhere. The trick to catching them is waiting for high water. They have been pretty skittish on lower water. The high water allows them to get comfortable and respond to chummers. Gator trout and slot trout are being caught everywhere as well. The slot trout seem to be hanging in 4 feet while most of the gator trout are being caught in about 2 feet. The bait of choice has been a greenback belly hooked using a slow retrieve. Really nice slot snook are all over the south shore and Weedon Island. They are blowing up on chummers. Using 20-pound fluorocarbon leader has worked best. Loosen your drag so they don't break you off.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.