The Tampa Bay Times
Big time rain this past week has cooled the shallows of Tampa Bay, significantly raising the activity level of snook, redfish and jack crevalle.
Schools of jack crevalle can be seen crushing baitfish as they patrol the outer edges of the grass flats each morning. Look for the terns and the jacks will be directly below. Cast top-water plugs or popper style flies out in front of the school and watch the mayhem ensue.
Fall undoubtably offers the best redfishing of the year. Look for each passing moon phase to bring more fish into the area. Schools of upper to over-slot redfish can be seen pushing along and periodically tailing in the super shallows on the lower tides that often occur late afternoon into the evening this time of year. These fish are often skittish and require a stealthy approach. A variety of fly patterns can be used as well as weed-less soft plastics and walking style top-water plugs.
As the tide floods the redfish stage up under the cover of the mangrove canopy. Working a shoreline bouncing from point to point while pitching live pilchards or pinfish up under the trees can be an absolute blast especially when a school is located.
Although the majority of snook are still holding around bridge structure and causeway rocks, many fish have begun to show up under the mangrove canopy as well bringing further excitement when targeting redfish along the trees. Look for the mangrove population of fish to explode after we get our first cool fronts of the fall.