I’ve had to work farther up the bay than my normal stomping grounds around the Sunshine Skyway bridge area to find the desirable 3- to 4-inch bait. The good news is that once the baitfish have been located, it’s not necessary to travel any farther. Where we’ve found bait, we’ve found larger fish ready to eat them. Simply moving off to the side and starting a chum trail has brought feeding fish right to the boat. Spanish mackerel have been our primary targets as they provide plenty of fun on light tackle. The action has been best with good movement in the tidal flow. Once the tide slacks, baitfish in the area tend to scatter and the mackerel lose interest. If possible, use the slack period to move to another spot and set up for when the tide changes and begins to move in the opposite direction.

Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at and (727) 510-1009.