What's hot: Beach action remains good all along the coast. Mackerel, cobia and tarpon are available for the angler willing to chum enough to bring the action right behind the boat. Finding lively areas can be easy: Look for birds, bait and obvious signs of fish activity such as skyrocketing mackerel or rolling tarpon.
Tactics: Anchor uptide of the activity and set out a chum slick. A combination of fresh chum blocks as well as live and cut pilchards is sure to have any predator in the area sniffing out your slick for a chance at a free meal. Plenty of pilchards of all sizes can be netted in the swash channel right up close to the beach.
Tips: If tarpon are active in the area, don't expect them to stay near the surface after they roll to feed on snacks you might be tossing their way. Most of your bites will come near the bottom where the fish are actually holding. Try free-lining your bait with the tide so that it drifts with the current naturally, or try a slip bobber rig to suspend your bait near the bottom while still allowing it to drift naturally.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 692-5868.