What's hot: Bay area fishing is at its best, with many species to choose from. If big is your thing, tarpon and kingfish are available. I have been fishing for tarpon at the Skyway Bridge and for kingfish (up to 30 pounds) offshore at the Seven Mile Reef. Take into account wind direction and intensity. The baits of choice for the tarpon and kingfsh have been threadfin herring and scaled sardines, and be liberal with chum. For smaller species, there is a good Spanish mackerel bite in the bay, which means using less fuel and you can get away with a little more wind. Wind direction is important depending on the direction of the tide. Keep in mind that when these two variables are opposing, conditions are less attractive.
Other species: The redfish bite has been good but falling off from a couple of weeks ago. I have gone from fishing big schools to tracking down singles and doubles in the backcountry. Trout fishing is fair; the bigger trophy trout have slowed down and spread out. The snook bite is in full swing, with fish back in places they had been absent from for the past two years.
Ric Liles fishes out of Tampa, Ruskin, Bradenton and the surrounding areas, and can be reached at (813) 601-2900, via email at CaptainRic@msn.com, or at ReelSimpleFishing.com.