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Tampa Bay Fishing Report..April 3, 2011

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This past week the fishing started off strong, but with the front moving through on Thursday the fishing, at least for me, slowed considerably. Pre-front the redfish and trout were the main targets with some flounder and mackerel mixed in as bi-catch.

I was targeting the higher tide periods around oyster bars in the Ft. Desoto area when looking for redfish. On the higher portion of the tides, the mullet will move up onto the oyster bars and the redfish are usually not far behind. Live greenbacks and/or fresh cut pinfish on a 1/0 circle hook or live Shrimp on a 1/8<SUP>th</SUP> ounce jighead have been my baits of choice. The fish have been averaging 17 to 24 inches.

When targeting trout, I was working deep grass edges in about 4 to 6 feet of water. The trout are continuing to make a strong showing with most being in the 13 to 16 inch range. By being patient though we have been able to locate fish in the 24 inch range. DOA shadtails in golden bream, night glow and greenback color have been the most consistent colors. Also, the GULP shrimp in any color has been very effective.

Lastly, mackerel are showing both on the flats and around the skyway. A silver spoon or live greenback trolled around the skyway has been working very well. We have also been picking up mackerel while trout fishing on the grass flat edges with jigs and live greenbacks. When using livebait and targeting mackeral, I prefer to use a longshank hook instead of using wire leader and although I do lose some fish, I feel I get more bites.

Following the front last Thursday, the redfish bite for me has slowed down. I am still locating the fish, but getting them to eat has been difficult. I think the amount of freshwater that is pouring into the bay is causing this slowdown. I think that in the early part of this week, the redfish should begin feeding strongly again.


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