The Tampa Bay Times

It is the best time of the year for fishing in the bay area.  Tarpon can be targeted off any of the bay area bridges.  The Gandy, Howard Franklin and the Skyway would be my top three choices to start. Threadfin herring are the best bait for tarpon and can be easily found around all the bridges. Snook are already on the beaches.  Fish are in the swash channel formed from the waves crashing the beach.   I like to cast my bait just short of the sand, and then pull it back into the swash.  Redfish have been hanging around oyster bars on the extreme high tides in the afternoon.  A small pinfish under a small float is my bait of choice.  You can pitch right next to the mangroves and monitor where the bait is at all times.  Trout continue to provide action in deeper grass flats.  Bright blue skies make it easy to find deeper grass, just look for the dark areas in three to five foot of water and work the edges with a quarter ounce grub tail jig.  Cobia have been roaming the flats on top of monster stingrays and spotted eagle rays looking for easy meals.  When you see a huge ray, toss a pinfish around the ray, cobia can come out of nowhere and strike.  Blacktip sharks have been hanging out around the sandbars outside of the gulf passes.  Anchor on the edge of the channel and hang a chum block over the side.  Use a large free lined pinfish rigged with heavy wire to prevent fish from biting through the leader.  There are more people on the water than ever, patience is needed when fishing.  Fish are being pressured more than I have ever seen with boat sales at record levels.   Captain Rob Gorta727-647-7606

Latest posts by CapMel Staff (see all)