Summertime. The summer heat is here and the kids are out of school and wanting to go catch some fish, so what do you do? The first step is find a tide chart to see if we have a good tide. The reason the tide is so important is Tampa Bay can have a one-, two-, three- or four-tide day. It's one of four places in the world this happens everywhere other than those places the tide comes in and out every six hours. That is why a tide chart is so important.
The right hour. Choosing the right time of day is critical. With July and August around the corner it is hot out. I like the early morning or late afternoon and early evening because those are the coolest times of the day. The fish on the flats move to deeper holes on the flats or move off it.
What and where. I like fishing areas like Weedon Island, Picnic Island, Simmons Park. All those areas have a place for the snook, redfish and trout to move up on or off the flats. A great place to fish is the artificial reefs in the bay for snapper, grouper and Spanish mackerel. All are great fish to beat the summer heat.
Tips. When fishing for Spanish mackerel I use a 30- to 50-pound mono leader to a 3/0 2x long shank hook for more bites and a sardine for bait. For other fish, like the snook and redfish, I use cut bait like ladyfish or threadfins in the holes on the bottom.
Capt Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 or firstname.lastname@example.org.