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Mangroveman

Tampa Bay Fishing Report April 17-April 24, 2011

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Redfish have really turned on this past week and should begin schooling up in large numbers within the next few weeks. I have been targeting reds around oyster bars and deep mangrove shorelines during the higher tide stages. The last two hours of the incoming tide and the first two hours of the outgoing tide have been producing very well. Most of the fish have come on cutbait, with fresh cut threadfin hearing being the best by far, however live shrimp or greenbacks have also been catching their fare share.

Snook have also continued to improve this past week. I have been fishing the south shore of Tampa Bay, basically from Miguel Bay to the Little Manatee River working the outside grass flats and passes. Find moving water with a deeper mangrove edge and some baitfish and Snook are bound to be in the surrounding area. The best bait has been live greenbacks, but live shrimp or the Mirrolure Mirrodine in the greenback color will also trigger strikes.

Lastly, Spanish Mackeral are swarming the entire bay area. This past weekend while Tarpon fishing, we were having difficulty keeping baits in the water due to the Spanish Mackeral that were tearing our baits and leaders to shreds. I like to target Mackeral with a live greenback rigged on a No.1 long shank hook connected to 40lb. fluorocarbon leader. Although you will get some bite-offs, I think you definitely get more bites and catch more fish with heavy flourcarbon leader rather than wire. The fish we have been catching are averaging 18 to 20 inches and we have been catching 20 to 30 per trip.

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