© St. Petersburg Times, published June 30, 2002
Fishing the shallow grassflats this time of year can be trying. With water temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, it can be difficult to get fish to bite.
There are, however, a few tricks to get a bite or two.
One is to concentrate your efforts where there is constant water flow. Continuous moving water prevents the area from stagnating and keeps the water from heating up.
Focus on gulf passes. Make sure to check the tide charts so you don't get to your favorite spot when the tide is peaking or ebbing. Again, moving water is the key.
Also, get up before sunrise. Water temperatures drop a couple of degrees at night and can spark feeding activity in the early morning. This is the perfect time to use those noisy, slurping topwater baits.
Afternoon thundershowers are another tool to use to your advantage. Everything cools off after storms, including water temperatures. Obviously, you should not go out during the height of the storm, but fishing just afterward can be rewarding.
Fishing at night also can beat the summer heat. Fish seem to bite better under the cover of darkness. Just remember to be careful. Make sure all vessel lights are working before heading out.
-- Capt. Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376 or by e-mail at email@example.com.