Tampa Bay Area Report
The snook are chewing har, on two recent trips we caught over 30 snook the first day and never left the spot we pulled up to, I returned the next day with a different client and we brought 62 snook to the boat all of them in the 25 inch range and very healthy, everyone of them sitting on a deep drop. Its a great day for a guide and client when you can sit on one spot and catch fish for the duration of the charter. We left them chewing and had to end the charter and head home with a very tired client and captain.
Target snook stacking up along deep drops close to the mangroves. Whitebait, thread-fins and shrimp will all work well as will cut bait. During the heat of the day these fish are not exerting much energy so you will have to put that bait right in front of them to get them to eat,
Redfish are starting to get together in big schools and are roaming the flats and mangrove lines of the south shore area of Tampa Bay. Fish are good sized and are readily eating cut pinfish. Most of the white bait in the bay is either off the flats or too small and the flats are loaded with pinfish right now. You want to match the hatch. Fishing the top of the tide close to the mangrove shadow lines is producing the best fish. Most of the redfish caught on recent trips have been upper slot fish.
Snapper are everywhere ! The mangroves are producing keeper sized fish on shrimp, cut bait and small white bait. They are roaming the flats in large schools and taking up residence on any piece of structure, But the best fish by far are coming from the ledges and rock piles near the shipping lanes. work the bay aea bridge pilings for good sized mangos as well.
Smaller sized number 1 circle hooks and a quick hand a required for these tasty bait thieves. Use small pieces of bait and once you feel the tap get ready to set the hook. A great method of getting fish to the boat is a chum bag over the side of the boat. Once the chum slick starts send your bait down in the middle of it, Mangos will come up from the deeper water to feed in the slick.
Trout are starting to show back up slowly, they are hitting top water lures on the grass flats early in the morning and moving to deeper water during the heat of the day. You can target them in the deeper water with shrimp and whitebait, The bite has been slow but should pick up very soon as the days get shorter and th water starts to cool.
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