By Neil Taylor, www.strikethreekayakfishing.com
The South shore: Sometimes I wish I just lived down that way. My original fishing grounds 20 years ago, I still spend a lot of time along that bank of Tampa Bay. The action, predictably good as usual, has been a mixture of just about everything there is to offer. Trout, redfish, flounder, jacks, ladyfish, mackerel, pompano and even some cobia passing through.
Bulletin! The big story has undoubtedly been the early arrival of flounder. They have been in good numbers the entire month of March. We have seen some of the biggest flounder that you will ever likely see in Tampa Bay. How to catch them? Use the 12 Fathom SlamR on a 1/8-ounce jighead. Get it deep and keep it just above the bottom. Sand bottom. Every pass between islands and deeper sandy spot will have them in it.
Trout action has been great, especially at low light conditions around sunrise and sunset. We caught nothing but upper slot fish on one trip recently in about 2 feet of water. They are finding more baitfish to eat and so topwater lures are working well again
Redfish? Back and forth between great action and just average. Get off the beaten track and find the less traveled shallow areas. They change locations but the south shore has plenty of this species.
Pompano have been in decent numbers. But that is going to get much, much better. I would think about trying the south Skyway Pier, about the first 80 to 100 yards past the pay plaza. Use the ½-ounce Silly Willy (Yellow) with a teaser fly (pink) to locate and catch this most prized food fish.
Mackerel action has been pretty steady around the deeper structure. That’s where the bait is, that’s where the mackerel are. They will eat that same lure you are using for pompano if you are on the Skyway bridge. Use much thicker leader if you are after Pier mackerel.
If you encounter snook, leave them alone or at least commit to not harvesting them regardless of the regulations. An influx of new fish arriving from other areas means a slightly better chance of encountering this species. I witnessed people keeping fish out of water for more than three minutes. A tough species, this just shouldn’t happen. Keep them in the water before you get a picture and handle them with extra care. Every fish is vital to the future especially with the management failures of this species.
Kayak Fishing Skool for April: The 27th “Beginners to Kayak Fishing.”
Bill Jackson Shop For Adventure, Pinellas Park 6:30-7:45 PM
To get detailed reports, check The Skyway Report on capmel.com. Written by Paul Bristow every week, he keeps you on the heartbeat of the Skyway bite. Get out and enjoy the easy action on the Skyway Piers! Thank you Paul for dedicated, detailed reports EVERY SEVEN DAYS!
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.
Enjoy Capmel.com Radio, also known as Outdoor Fishing Adventures and Tampa Fishing Outfitters Radio Show is doing very well. I am hearing a lot of feedback from people who are listening to the show and enjoying it. As co-host, I am in the studio nearly every week and we have a great setup with topics and guests. Listen in on 1040 Sports Talk “The Team” 8 to 9AM on Sundays, live on the web or enjoy listening to the Podcasts at your leisure.
As always: Be careful out there!