Flounder. If you ever wanted to target flounder, October would be the month. Flounder is usually considered a bycatch, but the cooler water has really fired them up. Most flounder usually can be caught around structure. Make sure you are fishing the sandy bottom around the structure. Once you find one, there is a good chance there or more in the same area. Flounder can also be caught on grass flats with sandy patches. The best bait is a scaled sardine. I will put one on a jig head and bump it off the sandy bottom. Shrimp and an artificial shad also work well.
Trout. There has been a steady trout bite out on the grass flats in Tampa Bay and expect them to stay there until we see a real drop in temperature. They have been hanging in the 4-foot range. The choice of bait is still scaled sardines. Using a cork and popping it has produced the most bites. You really want to downsize your tackle this time of year since the algae die off and the water gets clearer.
Shoals. If constant action is what you are looking for, then head to one of Tampa Bay's many shoals. You can find most of these shoals just off the shipping channels in 8 feet of water or less. These shoals are holding a lot of bait, which brings in the predators. Big schools of jacks, Spanish mackerel and black tip sharks are being caught. This makes for a lot of fun, especially for kids.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.