The Tampa Bay Times
We may be a long way from realizing what the long term effects the devastating red tide has had in Tampa Bay and our surrounding areas. Fortunately the strangle hold on fishing we experienced in the bay has begun easing up. Bait has returned to not all, but many of the flats we usually find it. Hard to believe there’s any left after observing all the dead ones during the worst of the “tide” a couple weeks ago but whitebait, greenbacks and pinfish are able to be cast netted and living in the live well. Mangrove snapper, traditionally abundant in the bay in August are being caught in better numbers. Anglers on and around the Skyway Bridge have been wrestling with em’ recently. The strong tides of the new moon phase will help keep them active and chewin’. Now is when I like fishing them in the deeper water along the edges of the ships channel. You’ll want to study a tide chart and concentrate on the changes. Fishing mid tides during this phase may require too much weight to effectively stay on the bottom. Tarpon too are proof conditions are improving. Some have shown up in several of their late season traditional hot spots. From above the Courtney Campbell way up the Bay – to the Skyway Bridge on the lower end, reports of scattered fish are on the rise. There are several places along the waterfront in downtown St. Pete, Bayboro Harbor and Coffee Pot Bayou that we’ll check on them by truck. You’ll not catch any that way but it’s always fun watching em’ roll.