What's hot: Redfish are holding around Pinellas Point, Tierra Verde, Fort De Soto and all of the surrounding islands. I target oyster bars along mangrove shoreline. I look for mullet away from shore and start blind casting. If I do not catch a fish in a few minutes, I raise the anchor and let the wind push me down the shoreline a few yards and repeat the process.
Bait: The Skyway bridge, Misner, 10 Cent and all of the piers on Mullet Key are holding threadfin herring. It usually takes only one throw of the cast net to fill the live well. I empty the net as quickly as possible to prevent harming the tender baits. Once the scales fall off their body, they will not last long in the well. I also don't stuff the well; too many baits in one well leads to dead baits. Threadfin herring are probably the easiest bait to find; they dimple the surface so it looks like it's raining.
Pressure: I have noticed a lot of fishing pressure on the schools of redfish this spring. The weather has been unseasonably warm. When there are a lot of boats following the reds, I leave the area and come back after everyone has left and try again at these wary fish.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.