Captain Mel Berman: August 28, 2009

Here is Capt. Mel Berman’s Friday Tampa Tribune column for their “Go Fishing” feature.  It’s a weekly report with information from some provided by some of the Tampa Bay area’s top fishing guides, bait and tackle stores, and other knowledgeable fishing experts. It’s a quick snapshot of where to find the fish, how and what they’re biting and some of the best bets for weekend anglers.  

Capt. Mel’s “GoFishing” Tampa Tribune column — Published on 8.28.09

It’s snook season, but redfish big target


There’s no doubt that when snook season reopened on Tuesday, the hook ’em and cook ’em crowd was zeroed in on the many linesiders that are available along the beaches, in passes and cruising the edges of mangrove-lined flats. But while in these productive venues, many a snook angler was distracted from the mission by the burgeoning populations of very large, hungry redfish.

The folks at Denny B’s Bait and Tackle tell me that much of the redfish action could be found at the mouths of the creeks at the northern part of the bay, including Rocky Creek, Double Branch and other popular upper-bay locations. They suggest that a knocker rig with a creek chub is an ideal combo for catching them. Certainly spoons, cut bait, shrimp and live white bait should also produce good results.

Kayak guide Neil Taylor reports from North Pinellas that “the redfish seem to be out of my normal areas. I’ve made adjustments, and there are redfish of all sizes in good numbers in four locations I tried near the Dunedin Causeway recently.” Like many others, Taylor had been targeting snook right now. But he said that “it must have been a very successful redfish spawn, because a lot of the fish are already in the canals and creeks where I fish.”

Meanwhile, many a local fisherman is also reveling in the amazing abundance of this year’s mangrove snapper crop. They are everywhere for the catching from the Skyway structures to the unending series of mangrove-lined flats to the north. Live white bait, shrimp and small pieces of cut bait will catch them. And certainly, there are very few fish that taste better than mangrove snapper.

For more on your fishing weekend- always look for Capt. Mel Berman’s  fishing report on page 2 of the sports section in every Friday Tampa Tribune — And join him  6 to 9 Saturday morning on 970-WFLA’s Capt. Mel Show