In shallow-water situations, and around bridges, within inlets, passes and channels, and over scattered bottom structure and wrecks, try casting down-current or downwind to control the drift, letting the bait settle as the boat catches up to it. Unlike free spooling, pitching down-current eliminates most resistance on a rig. Therefore, even less weight may be required to hit bottom, which is ideal with light spin and conventional tackle not conducive to heavy weights when fishing for grouper, snapper and cobia, and for deep-feeding snook, tarpon, striped bass and redfish.
After casting down-current, remain in free-spool and allow the bait to descend. Monitor the line paying out for that often-subtle hesitation, indicating the bait has reached bottom. At this point, engage the drag and wind up just enough slack to keep up with the boat drift and prevent an aggressive bow in the line, but don’t come tight to the bait. When the boat catches up to the bait, switch over to the free-spool tactic for extended soak time, or reel up and pitch down-current again.