What's hot: Recent heavy rains over Tampa Bay have cooled water temperatures a bit, triggering redfish to feed leisurely. But water temperatures are still in the upper 80s, making fishing tough. The use of cutbait on the flats can be deadly on lethargic reds. On a recent trip, cutbait out-fished the beautiful live offerings 5-to-1. A small split shot and a piece of cut ladyfish or pinfish for bait will yield good numbers, even on the really hot days.
Caution: Lightning is no joke in our area. Keep an eye to the horizon to locate active weather coming. One thing to remember about trying to outrun a bad thunderstorm is that surface conditions change very rapidly in Tampa Bay. A normal 20-minute ride can easily take an hour when things get rough. A tropical system is forecast to move to our east, and it might be good. It sometimes helps the water cool a bit when it's choppy, and might help break up red tide bloom.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.