What's hot: Direct sunlight warms the water on the flats quickly, driving most species to deeper zones. The exceptions are redfish, mullet and bonnethead sharks. Look for schools of mullet gathered in the shallows to locate productive redfish areas. Cruising bonnethead sharks are a bonus indicator as they are searching for the same crabs and shrimp that redfish prefer.
Deeper options: Deep grass flats, artificial reefs and natural limestone outcroppings throughout the bay and beaches are holding more fish than the shallows. Attract fish to a location by anchoring and deploying a frozen chum block off the transom. Unweighted live baits will attract fish from the surface to mid depths. Cut or live baits on knocker rigs will attract bottom dwellers.
Kids fishing: Kids thrive on action, and the deeper options provide it. Surface baits will catch Spanish mackerel, cobia, bluefish, ladyfish, bonito, barracuda and more. Baits dropped to the bottom will connect with grouper, snapper, sea bass, grunts and flounder.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (727) 510-1009.