The Tampa Bay Times
The krux of summer is upon us. The fishing opportunities are still there but the water is hot and will remain hot for months. Without question, for success, get started two hours before sunrise. If you get out really early, try dock lights. Then, as the sun is rising until maybe 9AM, if the tide is good, you should have success. Species like trout, flounder and pompano should be cooperative. Getting late into June, the heat here, the water temperatures will max out between now and the end of July. One thing you can do to have better trips: Fish near a pass. Passes have moving water. Moving water might be cooler but it will probably also have more oxygen. Afternoon storms are a reality. Use caution anytime but expect to have issues if you are out in the afternoon.
Live bait will outperform lures as the dead of summer hits us. That is just the way it is. Lures will still work in low light conditions. Going at night becomes a better and better option for the next two months. Most bait guys net sardines. Another solid option is to have one rod rigged with a tiny hook and put bits of shrimp on and catch pinfish and grass grunts. Grass grunts are a superior live bait. Pinfish are good both live or if you take a scissors to them, they are the best cut bait there is. Killifish are a great bait if you know where to find them. They stay alive great and they are very durable. I call the Tiger Minnows. They stay on a hook great and they will stay alive for multiple fish. It is probably the very best live bait there is for flounder but will catch nearly everything out there. Shrimp are a standby but with all the pinfish around, it is tough to get past those bait-stealers to catch something else. In snapper spots, the shrimp are an extremely good choice. For all live bait: Have a system that keeps your baits in fresh, circulated water. Hot water without an aerator will mean dead baits. Live baits are fresher.