What's hot: Strong, late cold fronts can be frustrating because of the winds and chill, but sometimes they can be good. They help keep the water cool for a bit longer and prolong the fabulous spring fishing. The past few inclement days have kept most anglers off of the water. But with a few warm days, fishing should get really good. Speckled trout, sheepshead and some reds are cooperating. Some Spanish mackerel have made their way up the bay as far north as the Gandy Bridge. They should flood into the bay any day, making for a good battle and a delicious dinner.
Tackle: If using live sardines for bait, try belly-hooking the baits. This helps the bait from sliding up the line then getting blasted by another mackerel, resulting in a cutoff.
Tips: Check all of your safety gear. Things like expired flares or empty fire extinguishers can make for a very expensive Saturday, or worse. It's common sense to have everything proper. It will ease your mind about getting a ticket — and possibly save your life.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.