It may take a day or two for fishing conditions to return to normal. The upcoming new moon phase can help. Particularly while hog fishing, we've been more productive on days with strong tidal flow. Because the strongest tides occur during the days surrounding the new and full moon, now's the time. The debate will go on about which works best, live shrimp or fresh frozen. Most days, it doesn't much matter. Many bait and tackle shops carry flash frozen shrimp that have been well cared for. Whichever you choose, take lots because there are a bunch of pesky bottom dwellers that like them as much as the hogfish do. This time of year the weather is iffy, so we'll bottom fish the rocky edges of the shipping channel inside Tampa Bay. Early Saturday morning, we had nonstop action anchored on one of the many hard bottom edges several miles inside the Skyway Bridge. Sheepshead, mangrove snapper, grouper and grunts devoured shrimp, frozen sardines and pieces of octopus tentacles.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.