What's hot: Spanish mackerel remain active inside the bay as they slash through schools of threadfin herring. The hand-size threadfins tend to be too big to use as bait for all but the largest of mackerels.
Technique: When only large baits can be acquired by cast net or gold hook rigs, "chunking" becomes a productive method. Anchor near any structure or hard-bottom area and set up a chum slick. Begin with a frozen chum block hung off the transom. Snip small chunks of cutbait over the side into the slick. Bait your hook with a chunk of the same size, and allow it to drift back with the tide at the same rate as the freebies. When line begins to peel off the reel, close the bail and set the hook.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (727) 510-1009.