Still one of my favorite places to go, I’ll spend the gas money for what I get when I get on the south shore of the Bay. Watch out for illegal activity. See it: Call it in. Poachers are more likely toward Manatee County than in any other area of the Bay. Common thieves, give them their time in jail.
The action has quite honestly been “everything” down this way. Bluefish: Seasonal, are available again. They are five to seven pound fish. That gives a very good pull. Use 30 pound leader this time of year. That will hold up better to bluefish.
Redfish action has been “just OK”. For everything it is all about location. The last front moved the fish. We had an overall water temperature drop that was close to 15 degrees. Redfish just aren’t what they were. It is actually pretty bad. We have them, we just don’t have them like we did five years ago. The big school of breeder reds swam right into the red tide a month ago. Therefore, the future of redfish looks even worse.
Trout action got better but still hasn’t hit peak. Flounder action survived the fronts but will wane as December moves on. It would be nice to have a very warm December and for the flounder to stay longer. All hopes are that 2019 will be better than 2017 and 2018.
Trout are about the easiest fish to catch in the entire state. It picks up the slack really for overall fishing opportunities. Throw the jigs. Throw the topwaters.
Flounder, just use a plastic jig on a jighead heavy enough to keep your lure down near the sand. Sand is the key. Not over sand: Not into flounder.
A possibility: Cobia. Lower Tampa Bay, around the Skyway, king mackerel are a possibility. Near the end of that run, it has been mild enough where if there are enough days of lighter winds some of them should come inside the Bay.
Sheepshead can be on your agenda. This is the area I go if I want them. Any rocks have good ones down here.
There is a little bit of everything so get on the action!
The Skyway report, a thing of the past. Paul Bristow’s passing in late August leaves a big gap for this web site. If you want Skyway fishing information, call out there. Generally, it is pretty good from the piers.
As always: Be careful out there!