What's hot: The full spring run of all species is in full swing. Inshore or offshore, the fishing is as good as it gets this time of year. Large redfish schools have shown up in the flats around Pinellas Point, but time on the water is the only way to effectively track the day-to-day migration of reds. I start on a low tide spot, then as the water level rises I move and follow the school until the fish are comfortable and want to stay put.
Tactics: I normally target redfish, but spring lets me mix it up and target a number of species. If kings are being caught offshore, then the next best thing to target is cobia, one of the most traveled species on earth. They will swim around a floating object, so check every piling, buoy, day board, and channel marker. If a cobia is around, it will swim on the surface right next to the structure.
Tip: Every species will eat just about anything you offer. I will stop at a bridge first thing in the morning and fill the well with as many types of bait as possible — usually pinfish, scaled sardines, threadfins, grunts and ladyfish. The key is having everything possible to present to the fish when the opportunity rises.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.