What's hot: The best action in lower Tampa Bay continues to be trout and bluefish. Extreme low tides will concentrate the trout and bluefish along the drop-off of a flat. The blues and smaller trout will be in 3-4 feet. The larger trout want to stay closer to the drop-off and in 1-2 feet to avoid dolphin.
Tip: Weather is a factor when it comes to tides. Strong winds out of the north will push more water out of the bay and turn a normal low tide into an extreme one. South winds will make a low tide higher than the tide chart predicts.
Tactics: Topwater plugs, jigs and corked shrimp are hot in the lower part of the bay. Work the plugs along the drop early in the day. When the action slows, work a jig or shrimp in 3-4 feet. Productive jig colors are strawberry, motor oil and white. When the water is clear, I use motor oil. Otherwise, I use strawberry. Small jigs work well, but you might find the larger slugger jigs and jerk baits catch bigger fish. To increase the strike ratio, keep line test under 15 pounds and leaders under 25.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.