With the summer heat dial still on full blast, you might want to look for cooler places and times to fish such as early morning, late evenings or, if you have to fish during the day, under the bay area bridges. With the water temperature in the upper 80s and the low 90s, the morning topwater bite has been great on the bay area flats as the sun comes up. That includes some nice gator trout, redfish and even a few snook. As the sun gets higher in the sky, I start heading to the bay area bridges such as the Sunshine Skyway or Gandy, anchor up in the shade, change gear and start fishing the bridge pilings or the rock piles under the bridges. I fish for mango snappers, sheepshead, pompano, and a lot more types of fish you can catch under the bridges. In the late evenings I like to fish the mangrove shoreline with jerk baits and suspending baits. The fish move under the mangroves to get in the shade to stay cool just like we get under the bridges to stay cool. No matter when you can go fishing, there is a way to stay cool and get great summer fishing in. The best part is you can use your flats rods to do it all. You just need to change hooks or leader size depending on where you are fishing.
Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.