The Tampa Bay Times
I can tell you this for a fact: The fishing is more difficult right now than any other time in my lifetime. It has been for weeks. I tell it like it is. I have never had it this tough in my entire life. Sorry, but this is the way it is all over the region. Confirmed with other guides: People are having a harder time finding a fish to catch than every before. Mackerel: Worst reports I have ever heard for a species that is normally readily available. But everything is tough right now. The crux of summer starting, perhaps more frequent rains will help.
If you want to have a decent day, you have to go to the right spot. That is also a fact. A lot of the region is suffering. Areas untouched by Red Tide are devoid of fish. Why? I would suggest leaning toward live bait to provide action. My trips are all lures and we have been struggling. I have talked to some people who have had some success but they are using live baits. Pinfish was a bait that was mentioned. A top redfish bait, small use live and whole. Larger ones, use a scissors and cut them in half. In front of feeding fish, they will get eaten.
Pompano have been a complete strikeout in 2019. Five pompano caught all year. After two years of catching 30 per day, this is not good. The rumor has it that poachers have netted them up and killed the fishery.
Trout have declined in all the areas I go. A month ago, they were in decent shape but we had a day where none were caught which has never happened before. To make matters worse: Ladyfish haven’t even been around which is bizarre. My point is that things will probably get better if you wait for it to get better but right now things are quite honestly very difficult.