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It’s amazing how much can change in 48 hours. Today’s afternoon bite was solid unlike the challenges we encountered over the weekend. In reality there was not a promising tide today, guess that why it’s called fishing.

Bait is very easy to chum on the flats around Ft. Desoto and while on the smallish side snook seem to prefer them to larger baits as of late. I often add a float to add weight allowing my clients to cast further. Two tosses of the net were all that was needed to load up the live well. Baits are staying very healthy and frisky in the 75 degree water.

We took a detour from our run to the eastern shoreline as we ran into Mackerel and Bonita. With several light action rods already set up with Clark spoons it was game on quickly. Several times the boat was totally surrounded by Bonita boiling churning the water into a boiling froth while gorging on glass minnows. We lost another Bonita to a shark which has become all too often lately. Tactic is simple just cast a silver spoon into the frenzy and retrieve rapidly. DON’T stop the retrieve; don’t retrieve in jerky motions as the Bonita or Mackerel will turn away. Trust me you cannot retrieve the spoon fast enough. Simple just reel reel reel. Keep drags loose and let them run as there is no structure to cut off these speedsters. Both species can bleed and make a mess of your boat, take a minute and rinse before the sun bakes in a stain.

We left the schools and motored across Tampa Bay to the eastern shoreline. A maze of mangrove islands greeted us. We very little tide (water flow) I targeted points and areas where wind and surrounding areas created some water low. A small redfish 18” was the first to jump on our scaled sardines followed by snook and snapper. The action remained steady as we moved from point to point. Snook love structure and in most cases the first 10 seconds of the fight is the most I important. Keep a tight drag and as I coach all my anglers lower the rod to waist height and pull opposite direction to where the snook is headed. Snook win many battles which is another reason they are looked upon as an amazing game fish.

The day was strange at times taking snook in my redfish holes and snook of redfish oyster bars. Either way the bite was steady and everyone was happy. I have noticed many floats and broken lines dangling from the mangroves, make it a point when you are done fishing a hole to glide in and clean up. Old line is a death trap for many birds.

Capt. Steven


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