From trout to tarpon, just about anything you want you can get around the bay right now.
Inshore, trout action on both
speckled and silver is almost guaranteed. Get up on the flats at high tide and cork whitebait for speckled. Check the Weedon Island channel at the bend for silver trout. Use small 3/32-ounce jigs with chartreuse tails to nab the silvers.
Snook are eating well now, and sardines are the ticket, too. Check for snook around docks, bridges and mangrove shorelines on the outgoing tide. Either freeline or cork your whitebait and present it so it goes with the flow.
Schools of reds are showing on just about every flat. Look for tailing action early in the morning before the wind picks up. I hate to say it again, but use whitebait. Cork them short enough so they can't get down into the weeds, and cast in front of the schools.
If piers are your bag, then head out to Pier 60 in Clearwater. Mike England reports catches of trout, mackerel and pompano all hitting on live bait _ especially shrimp and whitebait. Most catches have come at night around the lights. Also, England tells of cobia and kings being caught off the big pier.
Offshore, Bobby Clark of the Queen's Fleet party boat says catches of gag grouper, sea bass and snapper have been keeping his customers happy. Gags have been taking cut frozen sardines quite freely; the snapper and bass are tearing up squid. Clark says to start looking for grouper in 45 feet of water.
Kingfish guru Larry Mastry of Mastry's Tackle reports kings have moved from the Egmont Channel north and are being caught from Indian Rocks Beach up to Clearwater. Slow trolling live bait, preferably blue runners, is the No. 1 tactic. Trolling spoons behind No. 2 or No. 3 planers also stirs up a fair number of kings. Mastry also reports that tarpon are on schedule this year, showing up at the normal locations. Freeline threadfins during the moving tide, and then soak dead shad on the bottom during the slack tide.
_ Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters in St. Petersburg. Call (813) 526-2590.