Dock fishing: Redfish have gathered under many residential docks, providing great winter action. Most measure at the bottom of the slot limit or less, but what they lack in size they make up for in numbers. Occasionally a larger fish can be mixed in, so be prepared for a battle.
Technique: Scented plastic-bodied jigs and live shrimp have been top producers. Slowly hopping a jig off the bottom, allowing it to stir up puffs of sand, will get the reds' attention and draw a strike. Shrimp should be tail-hooked and fished on the bottom with a small knocker rig. Methodically work each dock with casts to the outside corners, then skip an offering as far back under the dock as possible. Concentrate efforts on multiple pilings and other features that offer more structure.
Courtesy: Fishing residential docks means fishing off someone's back yard. Respect that person's privacy and property. You can legally fish, but there's no reason for confrontation. Mind your manners, don't be loud or obnoxious, and don't leave a mess, with hooks and line strung all over the homeowner's boat.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 510-1009.