Capt. Clay Eavenson
August 9, 2008
Tarpon Springs - Saltwater Fishing Report
It's that time of year again and the veracious toothy critters known as spanish mackerel are ruling Tampa Bay. Everywhere you look you can see them thrashing the surface as they crash small baitfish. They roam Tampa Bay is packs of 100+ fish or more ganging up on the recent hatch of sardines. When the sardine and the mackerel collide, it's a major mismatch and the mackerel win out hands down.
That's when we arrive with a livewell full of their favorite prey and "crash" the party. Their hapless prey is now disguised as such but this time rigged with barbed hooks. When strike first occurs, the sound of the drag on the reels sings out and it's game on.
When we get these awesome predators chummed up behind the boat we can catch one after another. Sometime, such as today you have to actually chase the schools of mackerel down and cast into them before they vanish (only to pop up again 100 yards down the beach).
Over the past week we've shifted our focus from an inconsistent redfish and snook bite to a fast and furious mackerel bite. Fall is coming soon and the redfish will have their day before long but for now the mackerel rule the bay.
These fish are ranging from 12" to 26" and are great table fair when smoked or grilled. They are famous for their initial drag screaming run and their tenacious attack on the bait.
We're still getting a few redfish and snook but you have to hit the tides just right. Mangrove snapper are still getting on line and sharks are on fire if you want to target them this time of year. Look for the inshore "big three" (redfish, snook and trout) to pick back up when the weather begins to show signs of fall approaching. For now, it's an all out "Mack Attack."
More Fishing Reports: