Big Trout Crazy Good.
Capt. Stewart Ames
March 7, 2018
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report
January was cold, February was hot and March is starting off cool. The fish would have every right to be confused. Seatrout fishing has remained stellar nonetheless, with limits the norm. Cold fronts still put them off for a few days but then limit fishing returns. Many fish upwards of 20 inches have been landed on recent trips and 20 to 30 fish days are not considered exceptional. Whitebait has been the ticket.
Usually, towards the end of February, redfishing begins to improve with larger fish and larger groups of fish being seen. Sometimes they are finicky but, redfish being redfish, they are generally willing to eat when found. Some over slot fish were caught early this last month but fishing has been inconsistent. One day, a half dozen decent fish, the next day, a short. The two most recent outings have yeilded a couple keepers each trip, but work had to be done to find them. Hopefully, nature throws the switch in the next few weeks and redfishing heats up for the spring season. It has to happen soon. Small, live pinfish have been the best bait although cut bait has begun to produce as well.
Several quality snook were landed in February and some trips produced decent numbers as well. In Tampa Bay, many guides make a living catching snook in the river mouths through the winter but generally guides along the west central coast wait until mid March to start really targeting this species. As a rule, the larger specimens are not a frequent occurance in February. About Mid April, these big fish head to the beaches, and the real snook season is on for the next 3 months. Large whitebait are the best choice for catching snook right now although several big girls were caught on live pinfish while targeting redfish.
Good luck and good fishing.
Trout, redfish, snook
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