Beat the heat: With the summer temperature dial still on full heat, you might want to look for cooler times to fish like early morning or late evenings, and if you have to fish during the day, look under the Tampa Bay area bridges.
What's Hot: With the water temperature in the middle 80 degree mark, the morning top water bite has been great on the bay area flats as the sun is coming up with 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 like the Skyway or the Gandy Bridge. I like to anchor up in the shade and change up gear and start fishing the bridge pilings or the rock piles under the bridges. I fish for mango snapper, 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 — similar to how we maneuver under the bridges to stay cool.
Tip: No matter when you can go fishing, there is a way to stay cool and get some great summer fishing in. The best part of it? 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.
Capt. Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.