What's hot: Small bonnethead and blacktip sharks are prowling the shallow grass flats around Pinellas Point and Tierra Verde, and can provide light tackle line-peeling action. Bonnetheads only grow to about 5 feet in length, and blacktips can get up to 8 feet. But on the shallow flats the bonnetheads are usually around 3 feet and the blacktips are in the 3- to 6-foot range. Still, they'll pull line, and the blacktips can get aerobatic to boot.
Tackle: There's no need to buy special tackle, such as 7-strand cable or wire leader, for this type of fishing. Just tie on a long-shank No. 1 hook with a 36-inch piece of 30-pound leader. Recently, we've had more strikes floating our baits than free-lining. The float keeps the bait in the strike zone and prevents it from hiding in the grass. And, more often than not when using a float, the anglers gets to see the strike. Just remember to place the float just high enough above the bait to keep it out of the grass.
Bait: These sharks aren't too picky, though they do prefer live or fresh dead offerings and not something that has been rotting on the boat deck all day. Shrimp works, so does pinfish, whitebait (scaled sardines), or greenback (threadfin herring).
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376.