2 posts in this topic

Mild temperatures, light breezes combined with warmer and clearer water on Tampa Bay are a welcome relief from recent cold fronts. Heavy rains and brisk winds canceled many trips during the last few weeks. The nice days between fronts yielded a plethora of species.

First a quick update from Captain Little Jim of Hook Setting Charters who just got off the water and gave this update. Grouper have already invaded inshore waters on lower Tampa Bay and were taken by trolling big lipped plugs and drifting pinfish and white baits with just enough weight to get to the bottom. Capt. Jim also found flounder abundant and eager to chew. Capt. Jim also found a large school of snook that were tight lipped even with the water at a very nice 71 degrees.

Monday afternoon I started later than usual at 11 am after just getting back from an amazing visit with my Grandson Jude who is now just 14 weeks old. First stop like most trips is to gather bait; Monday I wanted pinfish for Redfish and white baits for Snook. Once again tossing a cast net in 2-3’ of water resulted in grouper in the net. I have never seen so many grouper on the flats. I made my way to an area adjacent to a large area of flats that were void of water with our recent negative tides. As planned I found snook and redfish abundant in a deep channel that runs right along a Mangrove Island. Big Redfish all over 30” were staged and literally fighting to get at each bait. It was like fishing in a herd of redfish and snook an amazing site.

The location near Ft. Desoto is the same area where we had similar results last May taking in excess of 100 Redfish over 30” in less than 30 days. The snook were taken fly lining baits, for redfish I add a split shot or use a jig head and pinfish combination.

Remember to keep a log tracking tides, water temperatures, location on all your trips as this information comes in handy. I have great deal of data for both winter and summer along with where the fish are while in transition periods. I promise if you explore each trip along with hitting you favorite area your catch rate will climb exponentially.

Capt. Steven

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