Snook Bite Remains on Fire
Capt. Stewart Ames
July 18, 2020
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report
June snook fishing was excellent with numerous trips producing in excess of 20 snook. Although some of these were certainly the smaller males in the 24 to 28 inch class, most trips also had numerous large females sprinkled into the mix as well. Jumbo whitebait, pinfish and grass grunts all produced but, on some of these days, it felt like just about any bait would be eaten. With the bigger fish, two things were important to increasing the odds of actually landing the fish. First as snook often eat larger baits, it is important to adjust hook sizes upward. It is usually the bait size, not the fish being targeted, that determines hook size. With that said, circle hooks in sizes 4/0 and 5/0 seemed to be the best choice. This would allow enough hook to protrude from the hooked bait to insure a good hook set. Second, fluorocarbon leader strength of 30 to 40 lbs test was necessary to endure the longer fights of large snook. Although snook do not have sharp teeth, their small teeth work like sandpaper on a leader. Every time the fish turns, it abrades the leader so, the longer it takes to get the fish to the boat, the weaker the leader becomes…after 4 - 5 minutes, one good surge from the fish will typically break lighter leader. As July progresses, the snook bite will continue but expect it to taper off as August arrives as fish complete the spawning cycle.
Big trout are still occasionally available but most of the larger fish have departed, set to return on schedule sometime this coming November. Redfishing has remained hit and miss. Most days now are requiring hard work to find isolated small numbers of fish. This is a bit surprising as, even though it is hot and fishing can be slow at this time of year, the now 2 plus year closure has to have had a positive impact on populations. Bottom line is that they will be back and in good numbers as summer progresses towards fall. Cut baits presented tight to the mangroves during high tide phases have been most effective in the last month. Good luck and good fishing.
Tampa Bay Fishing Forecast:
Snook bite to slow as August approaches. Redfish will be around in moderate numbers.
Snnok, trout, redfish, kingfish, snapper
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