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Redfish are starting to show up with better consistency than anytime Captain Steven has seen the last 3 months. While temperatures are still on the below normal side 70 degree days have slowly raised the water temperatures out of the 50’s and into the 60’s. The increase has enticed reds to push up onto local flats. Finding schools has been easier getting the redfish to chew is another story.

Captain Little Jim of Hook Setting charters reported finding a school of large redfish but none would chew. Captain Jim did manage 4 redfish 18-20” on a smaller school on shrimp. Captain Justin of Hot Spots charters also has found schooling reds on Tampa Bay’s south shore with a similar theme slow to chew. Look for these fish to turn on quickly with a 10 day forecast featuring mid 70 temperatures and longer days.

This week I managed several reds 18-22” all taken on Gulp shrimp and cut ladyfish. Along with the redfish and trout Captain Steven has scored on large 30-45 pound Black Drum. These monsters are schooling in 3’ of water in lower Tampa Bay. Once located its game on! Gulp shrimp 3 or 4” on Mission jig heads work great. Be sure and use a quality jig head on these bruisers, poor quality jigs hooks will straighten under the pressure of 40 pounds.

I took a quick look for bait at the North Skyway Bridge and did mark some baitfish on my depth finder. No large shows but a positive sign. Look for the water to quickly rise to 65-66 and watch the action turn on. The redfish bite will turn on and snook will start to feed after a long hard winter.

Captain Steven

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