The Tampa Bay Times
Strong, fast moving tides can be advantageous while fishing the skinny water on the flats for snook, trout and redfish. It can help extent your chum line and keep the slack out of your fishing lines. It’s a different story when trying to up and down fish for mangrove snapper and grouper along the edges of the ships channel in Tampa Bay . Ripping tides won’t allow effectively getting and keeping baits on the bottom in some places 40 ft. depths. With too much weight, the quick striking mango bite will go undetected. Chumming becomes useless and even counter productive as chummers get swept fifty yards behind your boat by the time they get down. Because preferred tides don’t always occur during our allotted times to fish, adjustments may be required to stay productive. On new and full moon phases with rip snortin’ tides, fishing shallower water for mangrove snapper can pay off. Several of the artificial reefs in the Bay allow for staying on the bottom with 2 oz. weights or less. Rock jetties and bridges are other options where mangos like to gather in shallower water. First thing Sunday morning we were unable to fish the channel with the tide already ripping out. We opted for an old rock pile in 18 ft. in the bay where we could easily stay down even with the tide. We caught 40 mangos, keeping only the ones we wanted in a couple hours. Tampa Bay mangos seldom chew with a vengeance all day. Take advantage while you can. They sometimes turn off like a light switch by mid-morning.
Captain Jay Mastry