Timing: One of the best times to fish inshore is before a passing cold front. Weather fronts cause barometric pressure to drop, sending fish into a feeding frenzy. Recently, Miami residents Leonardo Frydman, his two sons — Alejandro, 14, and Gabriel, 11 — and their friends — Michael Durfzaun, 14, and Francisco Escolar, 11 — experienced the feeding. Cut pieces of fresh shrimp fished over a shallow rock pile brought good action. Sheepshead, sea bass and flounder kept everyone busy.
It was the puffers inflating themselves and the king of ugly dogfish that really sent the kids over the top. We sought shelter from wind on the lee side of a mangrove island, where there was a patch of thick grass. Double anchoring the boat from the bow and stern kept it from swaying.
This time the gang used live shrimp under a float and Michael's bait was hammered by a roaming cobia. The more experienced Alejandro took over and fought the fish through an Eckerd College sailboat regatta, bringing a 34-inch fish. We anchored again closer to the island and out of the wind, which produced speckled trout action and one pompano.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376.