Get out early to beat the heat. You only might be able to fish the flats first thing in the morning. The water temperature on the flats is 94 already. Once the water gets that hot, start moving deeper. The bite is pretty good in 6 feet. Redfish have been holding way up under the mangroves on high tide. Throw cut bait way up under the tree line with just enough split shot to keep it on the bottom. Cut bait and live scaled sardines free-lined have worked well. Redfish are very heat tolerant and will stay on the flats. Mangrove snapper are getting ready to spawn, so they bunch up. Look for them around the shipping channel markers and buoys. Don’t just hold tight to the markers. Take your time and do a circle 50 yards away from it as well. There is a lot of live bottom around these markers that will hold fish. Use your bottom machine to find it. Put a chum block out and start cutting bait. This will bring the fish off the bottom. The small fry bait we have in the bay now is perfect.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.