Night Fishing A Cool Summer Alternative
Capt. Fred Everson
September 5, 2009
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report
Slow fishing continues to keep the catching at a minimum. Average water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico has stayed at 89 degrees for about a month and a half. That makes daytime fishing expectedly slow.
Night fishing is a good option, particularly for nocturnal feeders such as mangrove snapper and snook. I had several reports of after dark snapper catches this week, and the fish have been big. In a normal year, a 15-inch snapper is a good fish. This year anything under 17 inches has been mediocre.
Inshore water clarity is still worse than poor, especially in the Little Manatee River, and on the flats just south of the mouth of the river. The daily rains are responsible, and it doesn't look like they are going away anytime soon.
Snook season opened Tuesday at midnight. The limit is the same for the Gulf Coast as it was last year – 1 fish between 28 and 33 inches. I approve of the slot size for snook. Every fish I caught when the limit was 25 inches or less. This summer most of the snook I caught were at 28 inches or just shy. These fish are a light year better on the end of the line than the two footer, and hopefully the 33-inch cap preserves the breeding stock.
Trout fishing has been abhorrently slow due to water temperature. If you aren't on the water at sunrise, you miss the bite.
I've found a few redfish in the mangrove backcountry of Little Cockroach Bay, but the bite hasn't been as good as in the past three years. The fish have been bigger, but not as plentiful. I like to fish them at high tide with cut bait on jig heads rigged to stout rods with zero stretch microfilaments. The sensitivity of these lines is absolutely incredible.
Captain Fred can be reached at 813 830 8890 for more information, or you can visit his website at Tampabayfishingguide.com.
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