By Neil Taylor,

Overall, some of the most consistent action of 2019, right down on the south shore.   That trend continued and the days were rewarding on many trips to the south shore this past two weeks.  The strong weather system did not change things for more than a couple of days.   But you can almost expect to intercept a little bit of everything on the south shore.

Flounder just not great for the third straight year.    South shore is where I go to get them.    They just haven’t been like they used to be.    Same goes for redfish.   It just isn’t that great an option anymore.  

Trout:  Another mystery.  So many areas around the Bay, this action is so easy, on the south shore so many of my top trout spots are just not holding the fish I would expect.  I believe that will change.    When the next couple of fronts send us into true winter, I believe the best trout fishing will arrive for all of us everywhere around the region.   Trout should get a lot better as more cold fronts come through.  

Weather dependent:  The kingfish migration may also create opportunities for this species toward the Skyway pier. Want to know what’s going on off the Skyway piers?    Get out and enjoy the easy action on the Skyway Piers!   Paul Bristow’s Skyway reports are missed.    He wrote them for a decade and he worked hard on them.   

Speaking of Skyway Piers, February peak time, sheepshead can actually be targeted any month of the year.   Locations around the south shore:  My favorite to go fishing for this species!   Fiddler crabs.  Shrimp.    Sheepshead are not a lure species.    Sand fleas as well.   Think “docks and rocks” if you want sheepshead.

Spanish mackerel are always a possibility.    Pompano are about to run out.   A couple more fronts and pompano will be gone until April.    The pompano jig with a teaser gets it done with mackerel.  

In a battle that is never really over: The great work of FWC officers to target felony netters and keep an eye on other recreational offenders has led to better fishing for us all.  Their continued efforts to catch felony netters are making the south shore region return as a great fishery again.   But help them out:  Keep your eyes peeled for illegal activity and make a call if you see poaching, 888-404-FWCC (3922).  Your tips will help make cases and you could be eligible for a reward.  The fishery survives the pressure of poaching, a lot of anglers and just continues to be a great location to go.  

As always: Be careful out there!

Neil Taylor
(Cell) 727-692-6345

Neil Taylor

Full time kayak fishing guide, Neil was an advocate for conservation since before the time he started guiding.Outdoor writer, speaker and radio show host, Neil connected closely with Captain Mel Berman and did many positives with Mel to promote ethical angling. After Mel passed away, Neil managed and eventually became that web site’s owner.
Neil Taylor

Latest posts by Neil Taylor (see all)