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Merry Christmas Mangroves!

Capt. Ted Nesti
December 19, 2015
St. Petersburg - Saltwater Fishing Report


You know it's wintertime in Florida when the fickle winds begin to blow. Leave the house and there's barely a breeze, but by the time you get to the boat ramp, it's blowing a gale. Thankfully, the many bayous around the Bay Pines area of Boca Ciega Bay provide the perfect solution. The small copses of mangroves provide relief from the wind and offer a bounty of sport fish, especially during the incoming tide. This week we motored out to the skinny waters of those bayous for a fantastic time catching redfish and snook.

Click to Enlarge Photo

Bait fish were abundant, so it didn't take long to fill the livewell with the pilchards and pinfish. We pitched these baits as close to the mangroves as we could and let them set because patience is key to mangrove fishing. Within 30 minutes we landed and released a feisty and fighting 26- inch snook. Just a few casts later, we hooked up a monster 36-inch snook that gave us quite the 'round-the-boat battle. When the snook action died down, we tried some new spots among the mangroves and started catching redfish. For the rest of the day we were hooking up some beautiful redfish, all in the 18-to-26 inch slot. Redfish get lazy as the temperatures cool, but once they're hooked they put up a fun fight.

Click to Enlarge Photo

The bite slowed as the incoming tide began to wane, so we headed back to the boat ramp happy to have some tales to tell of the ones that DIDN'T get away. The wintertime bayou strategy once again proved to be the winning strategy for a great day fishing.

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Capt. Ted Nesti, a U.S. Coast Guard licensed and insured charter captain, is a Florida native, born and raised on St. Pete Beach. For over 30 years, he has fished the inshore waters of the Tampa Bay area and Pinellas county as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Capt. Ted specializes in inshore, light tackel fishing targeting redfish, snook, trout, sheepshead, and sharks from his fully equipped 2008 Carolina Skiff 198 DLV Elite with a 115 Evinrude E-TEC engine.

Contact Info:

Captain Ted Nesti Inshore Fishing
7701 Starkey rd.
Seminole, FL 33777
Phone: 727-393-6129
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