What's hot: Late summer fishing often means hot, stagnant, uncomfortable conditions. But a lack of wind can be prime time for backwater tarpon. Tampa Bay holds plenty at this time of year, but finding them requires slick, calm conditions because they surface more often when the water is smooth. Target deep areas around bridges, river mouths, creek mouths, deep holes around ports and any bird activity you come across.
Tactics: Two popular methods are casting plugs to surfacing or rolling fish and soaking baits on the bottom, where you see the fish rolling the most. Plug fishing can be excellent when the fish are active. Bottom fishing with cut mullet or mackerel works when the sun gets high and the fish refuse the plugs.
Tip: Redfish are schooling up on the new moon. Target flats with deep water nearby such as spoil islands and those along a channel edge. At times, these schools will hang in the deeper water even on the high tide.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at [email protected]