By Captain George Hastick
July 28, 2014
Mangrove snapper have been very consistent over rock piles, pilings, docks and even on the flats. These tasty critters can put up a pretty good fight for their size. Ranging from 12-18 inches with 13-16 inches being the average up inside Tampa Bay around St Petersburg and larger ones 18-20 inches down around the mouth of Tampa Bay and the Skyway bridge area. They love shrimp and scaled sardines or pieces of either. I prefer a 1/0-2/0 circle hook for them matching the size of bait and fish you are catching on 3-4 feet of 20-25lb fluorocarbon leader attached to 10-20lb braid depending on the area you are fishing . Areas that are shallower with less current I like to free line the bait to them so there is no weight for them to feel or get stuck in the rocks. They are great table fair and can keep you busy on a slower tide day.
Redfish and snook are always available right now with snook being catch and release so handle them with extra care. I like to target the redfish on the incoming tide and the snook on the outgoing which seems to be most productive but you can catch either during both tides. Redfish can be a little more cooperative on the slack tide but if you plan on catching many snook the moving water will be the key to your success. Scaled sardines, pinfish, shrimp, finger mullet are just a few of the baits that these two game fish will consume on a daily basis.
Here is Scott with a Redfish and Cliff with a snook caught with Capt. George Hastick aboard "The Fish Hunter"
Capt. George Hastick fishes the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay area. If you would like more information or would like to book a charter please contact him at:
Capt. George Hastick
The Fish Hunter Fihing Charters