What's hot: Cobia have returned to Tampa Bay along with their buddies, tripletail. Both prefer structures. On calm days, cobia can be spotted cruising around range markers and navigational buoys. Tripletail like to hang around crab pot markers and the ropes on the blue crab traps. The eastern shoreline of the bay and offshore waters typically hold these tasty fish. They can be sight-casted and will demolish a live shrimp.
Tip: Cobia are famous for their after-capture antics. They are especially angry when tossed into a boat. It is best to stay out of their way until they can be carefully approached. I have seen many lures slung into humans by angry fish. Big fish of any type deserve full respect.
What else: Spanish mackerel have returned. The closer you fish toward the mouth of Tampa Bay, the better. Recent heavy rain has pushed them a bit to the south.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.