What's hot: The summer heat is in full swing. Get out early to avoid it and the afternoon thunderstorms. Another option is to get out at night and fish docks and bridges. With the water temperatures in the upper 80s, you will be able to spend only the first couple of hours of the day on the flats. After that, follow the fish to deeper, cooler water. The whole Tampa Bay area from as far south as Joe's Island to Safety Harbor is starting to go off. We have an influx of newly hatched bait pouring into the bay. If you plan on netting them, use a quarter-inch net.
What else: It is not too late to target tarpon. In July, they like to hang around bridges and shipping channels. They are holding at the Skyway and Port Manatee. The Gandy Bridge is a good place to target them at night. The snook bite has been the best on the start of the incoming tide in most places. Find a point with good water flow, and you will find snook piled up waiting for the bait to be pushed by. Redfish have been a little harder to target. Patience is the key. The most success has been with cutbait tossed way up under the mangroves on high tide. A lot of keeper grouper are being caught around the Skyway and by trolling the shipping channels.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.