What's hot: Pompano are schooling in the passes of lower Tampa Bay. Most are small. The larger ones are offshore spawning. There are still enough legal ones (more than 24 inches measured to the fork) if you have the time to work through the smaller fish. The best areas to try have good water movement. The Skyway piers have good action at the beginning of the pier. Small white or yellow hair jigs and the Doc's jig worked along the bottom will draw strikes. In the next few weeks, the pompano should increase in size.
The flats: The water temperature on the flats is 94 degrees during the hottest parts of the day. The best action is at sunup and sundown. Work the mullet schools with a topwater plug, weedless jerkbait or a corked pinfish to get the redfish, trout and snook to strike.
Tarpon: The schools off St. Petersburg have thinned. The best numbers of fish can be found off Longboat Key. This area south of Egmont Key has clear water, which makes spotting the tarpon easy. You'll want to use light tackle to keep from spooking the tarpon. Heavy tackle in clear water makes the tarpon shy to bite. The best baits have been small crabs, pinfish and threadfins. Rig some free-lined and the others on a cork. The corked rigs should be 4 to 6 feet long. If you can't find tarpon on the beach, try fishing the Sunshine Skyway bridge. Fish the pilings where you see the tarpon rolling. There are fewer than last month, but there are still enough tarpon to target.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.