Mid Summer fishing is producing some nice fish
Capt. Sean Goddard
July 22, 2017
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report
Sumertime fishing in Tampa Bay can be a challenge due to extremely hot days and daily thunder showers. However, with a little planning and proper timing fishing can be productive. Snook have been eager to feed early in the morning and later in the afternoon. Bait can be difficult to find and catch so getting out pre-sunrise is a must to secure a bait well full of pilchards, a snook's favorite meal. Fishing early morning with artificial baits has produced some decent sized fish, but the bigger fish are feeding predominantly on live pilchards or cut bait such as threadfin herring or cut ladyfish cast deep into the mangroves. With water temps being in the high 80's, most of the fish are sitting in the shadow lines created by the mangrove forests giving them shade and cover.
In the late afternoon, the snook are venturing out onto the deeper grass flats to get ready for nightfall. Bigger snook are mostly nocturnal and prefer the cover of dark to hunt.
Our Tampa Bay charters have been catching lots of snook late afternoon roaming the grass flats but still remaining close to their cover. During the summer months, I seek out docks with deep water that are close to grass flats pocked with sand potholes. It takes a bit of searching to find these locations but once you do the extra effort taken will provide some great results. During the heat of the day, I fish live and cut baits around and under residential docks. As the sun begins to set, I start casting out to the grassy area near the edges of the potholes. By fishing the mangrove forests early morning and moving to the deeper water areas as the day gets hotter, I cover a lot of area and increase my chances of a trophy sized hook up.
Redfish have schooled up into smaller schools of ten or so and have been easy to find one day and almost impossible the next. Time and effort are required this time of year to find them. A good starting point is submerged oyster bars and under the mangroves. They are eager to take a live pilchard but not willing to chase it down too far so accurate casting and chumming with stunned pilchards is a must. You will also find some nice sized redfish roaming the grass flats in the morning. The best tactic for these solo fish is to use a large chunk of cut bait soaked on the bottom.
We are catching good sized spotted sea trout early morning on live pilchards and shrimp. Look for deeper grass flats of six feet or more with lots of sandy potholes. Trout like to hide in the grass and ambush baits as the venture out of their hiding places. Topwater lures early morning are also a great way to catch some good sized trout just after the sun comes up.
For nearshore action Spanish mackerel and mangrove snapper are abundant in the bay and easy to catch. 50 plus fish days are the norm when fishing mackerel. The bait of choice is scaled sardines free-lined on a long shank hook. Snapper are all over the artificial reefs in the bay and a limit of these tasty fish can be caught with either live shrimp or small pilchards fished on the bottom.
Book a trip today with Inshore 2 Offshore Fishing Adventures www.inshore2offshore.com. We offer offers safe, secure and easy online booking. Visit our website for information about Tampa Bay inshore fishing or call Captain Goddard at 813-731-3426.
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