What's hot: We have reached the reliable time: the heat of summer. Deep jigging for pompano (passes and bridges for sport and dinner) and black drum (bridge pilings for the experience) has come on strong. They will provide fun action for the next four months.
Tackle and techniques: Pompano can be handled on lighter tackle. But when also targeting black drum, it is a better idea to use a slightly heavier rod. A section of 20- to 25-pound fluorocarbon leader helps. Lures that will work well include an assortment of "pompano jigs." Go with yellow for the lure and a generic pink teaser fly for the jig. The jig is the weight. The teaser gets most of the strikes. The key is sinking the lure all the way to the bottom. Pass pompano require a heavier jig. For bridge fish, you can use a lighter jig and fish down current from the pilings. Use caution with the two-hook system on this jig/teaser outfit, especially when handling a fish. Use pliers to help keep your fingers away from the second hook.
Tip: Capturing a big drum for a photo requires some effort getting it away from the bridge structure. Be ready to adjust your angle to keep the fish from raking your line on the barnacles.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.