The Tampa Bay Times
The mangrove snapper bite inside Tampa Bay has been so good…. It’s been hard to quit em’. The numbers and size are those we traditionally don’t get until a little later in the summer. A contributing factor could be the influx of 4” Spanish sardines that have settled onto some of the flats along the intercoastal in our area. They’ve been easily cast-netted and the mangos can’t resist them. Tarpon were up to their old tricks during last weekends’ full moon. Some bunched up in the “hole” on the north end of Egmont, others gathered at the Skyway Bridge on the late afternoon outgoing tides. Though crabs may be the featured entrée on the menu during the flush on the new and full moon phases, a variety of baits proved to be most effective. A properly presented frisky full grown whitebait or greenback may get bit when a crab won’t. There have been reports of migrating schools of tarpon along the beaches from Clearwater to Anna Maria and beyond. Many have been fast moving and nearly impossible to get with. Don’t waste time on those. They seldom eat in that mode. As we distance ourselves from the full moon, look for beach fishing to improve. Schools will slow and become workable. Patience will pay. Time spent finding the “right” school will almost always be worthwhile. Boat ramps will be packed this holiday weekend. Do all you can at home before you get there to expedite your departure. Be courteous, be efficient and get in and out as quick as you can. It’ll make for a more pleasurable day on the water.