The Tampa Bay Times
The new moon, an early tide change, a rising moon and bait caught and caged from the day before ignited a mangrove snapper bite in Tampa Bay that was about as good as it gets. Saturday, we caught em’ good and all we wanted on the edge of the channel leading to Port Tampa near the Gandy Bridge. Labor Day was even better. For the last hour and a half of the outgoing tide we had them going, getting bit every time our whitebaits hit the bottom while fishing the edge of the ships channel near Port Manatee. Mango’s don’t chew all day. Timing is paramount particularly during the new and full moon phases, mid tides rip so hard it’s nearly impossible to keep baits down along the channel. Had we had to catch bait Monday morning we would have missed the bite. Pre-caught bait allowed us to catch the last hour and a half of the 7:45 am tide change. I recently had conversation with some folks that were skeptical about eating fish caught from our local waters. I was pleased to report to them that fresh caught seafood from around here is the best it’s ever been. We have fish fry’s nearly every weekend. Friends and family come over to watch the games and enjoy whatever the fresh catch of the day is. Some of what we feast on we’ve caught in the gulf. Much of it lately has been the mango’s, grouper and occasional flounder we’ve caught in Tampa Bay. It’s always delicious and it’s never been better.
Captain Jay Mastry