What's hot: Fish early to avoid the heat and humidity. Hungry redfish have been found in nice-size schools all over. The best and most consistent bite has been on the outgoing tides. The reds move out of the mangroves to the outside flats of the islands. Work the patchy sand flats until you find them. Once located, chum heavily to keep them there. Baitfish are small this time of year, but free-line them. Try a heavier hook, such as a No. 2, to help you cast farther. Hooking scaled sardines in the pectoral fins has worked best.
What else: The mangrove snapper bite has been even better this month. We are catching keeper snapper on the grass flats. If you're looking for a limit of 2- and 3-pounders, concentrate on pilings, bridges, artificial reefs and wrecks inside of the bay. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website (myfwc.com) has a list of artificial reefs in the bay.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.