The Tampa Bay Times
The Tampa Bay snook has been excellent at times recently. However, an up and down weather pattern and the full moon phase has slowed the bite down a bit. With more weather on the way, timing will be critical for fishing into this weekend.
Targeting the first half of the incoming tide has been producing the best fishing. The lower water will have the snook fairly reachable along the mangroves. As the water rises with the big late afternoon tide this weekend they will push way back under the mangrove canopy making things much more difficult.
Live pilchards are producing the majority of the fish right now, however having a couple of pinfish or some medium sized threadfins is a really good idea. The fish will eventually slow down on chasing the pilchards but will remain aggressive on the other baits.
Pilchards can be found on the outer edges of the flats and will chum up fairly easy at first light. Look for the birds to give away their location. Generally speaking flats south of Gandy bridge have all been holding bait.
Cobia are targetable right now especially on those sunny windless afternoons. Look for sandy areas on the outer edges of the flats when hunting cobia. When conditions are right you can see the fish tracking along the sand from a great distance. Buck tail jigs work great as do a variety of soft plastic eel imitations.
Capt. Tyson Wallerstein
Flats Monster Inshore Fishing