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The day started looking for bait and it was there in full force. Beautiful 3-4” white baits eagerly came to the chum I was tossing leaving only to toss the cast net. These great baits are finally in Tampa Bay after the long frigid winter. It’s these white baits that act like candy to local favorites the snook and redfish.

With an incoming tide on local flat it didn’t take long for enough water to flood into the mangrove islands in lower Tampa Bay. It only took twenty minutes to find a huge school of large redfish. The next 90 minutes it was wide open catching and releasing redfish 29” – 33”.

Chumming white baits into the school of redfish kept them fired up and inhaling baits. It was one after another until everyone has their fill. Did I mention worn out arms? These fish were very happy, hungry and ready to play. Even with 5-6 boats on the fish they did not flinch.

It was a great example of how multiple boats can work a school of redfish without scaring them away. Patience way key and everyone cooperated. Look for schools of redfish around oyster bars and mangrove islands the next few months.

I got a good report that mackerel bite remains hot I even heard reports of tarpon sightings. I also got a great offshore report of permit, cobia and grouper in 50’ of water. Looks for more great action as the bait continues to pour in and water temperatures rise into the mid 70’s.

Captain Steven Markovich




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