St. Pete Report By: Capt. Anthony Corcella

Reds are flooding the flats.

August and September are prime times to target big reds. There are some real trophy class fish of over 40 inches, if you know where to look and what to use.

Let’s start with where to look. It can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. The best flats have spotty grass and potholes that sit right along the mangroves. The trick is to reposition your boat according to the tide. If the tide is out, position yourself well away from the mangroves and cast up as close as you can to the bank and spotty grass. If the tide is up, you’d want your cast right up on the mangrove line.

A lot of times, you can see the fish. If you do, chum them up to keep them near. If you can’t see them, a little chum can help draw them in. Cut bait works very well as bait and chum. Use threadfin shad, cut pinfish, cut ladyfish or cut mullet. Live white bait also works if you can find it. If I had to pick, it would be cut pinfish for the monster red. For the artificial gang, you can’t go wrong with a ¼-ounce gold spoon. Top waters and Mission Fishin jigheads rigged with a Gulp shrimp are always deadly.

Tackle should be a bump up from your usual trout gear. A 7-foot 6-inch 8 to 17-pound class rod with a 3500 to 4000 size reel loaded with 15-pound PowerPro braid will handle these brutes. A 3-foot piece of fluorocarbon tied to a #5 circle hook will complete the tackle end.

We’re on the reds, snook, shark and more inshore. Deeper trips in the Bay are producing keeper grouper, snapper, mackerel, sharks and an occasional tarpon. We can do both types of fishing on the same trip, if conditions allow. We have four boats and captains ready to put 1 to 20 anglers on the bite. Contact us today to book your action-packed trip.