Neil Taylor: Lower Tampa Bay


The heat of summer.   The south shore still remains a top spot.    There are other areas up the Bay that got better but being toward the opening of Tampa Bay, action is predictable.

What’s going on??

The flounder action is not what I call “steady” but you can usually leave with four or five big ones if you put in your time.  The 12 Fathom lures are best for flounder.   The SlamR and Mullet both great choices.   For the bigger trout the Mirrolure Top Pup and Top Dog Jr have worked great but if they won’t come up, use the 12 Fathom lures on a 1/8 ounce jighead.    Trout to 23 inches and flounder to 21 inches have been caught in the past few days.   Expect action to improve as August wears on.

Not much success with the big jacks.   Smaller jacks are always a possibility and ladyfish are usually fairly easy to intercept in the deeper areas.   The jacks we hit about every other trip.   They’re three to five pounds.     They hit a bait school and it’s fun to watch.    The water turns silver from the baitfish scales.

The redfish have not been consistent any locations I have been on the south shore.    They roam.  They prowl.  They will eventually settle back into the area.   Better than they had been I still don’t see them now they had been for 20 years.

Pompano, the big story for months:  Faded.    Will they come back?  I think they will.   But they could be traveling up the Bay becoming “bridge fish.”      The good news:   There are a bunch of them.    The bad news, I’m not sure where they went.   Pompano Hunting will ensue.

To get detailed reports, check The Skyway Report on   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!  He never misses.  Every Friday, there’s Paul’s report.

Would you like to get better at fishing?   Look at The Kayak Fishing Academy.   There will be quarterly sessions, the next one on October 1.   Feel free to inquire by email or phone call.    I give a three and a half hour session on fishing and kayak fishing that would be valuable for people who do any kind of fishing.  The host site is being determined.

Kayak Fishing Skool is now at 8th Avenue Pub in Safety Harbor.   The people loved it last month.   Attendance this month is projected to grow.         New start time, 6PM.   Live music starts at 7 so I’m moving up Skool to a 6PM start.

The Academy might be held at another kayak shop.     Those discussions are coming up this week.   Stay tuned.

As always: Be careful out there!

Neil Taylor
Owner and guide:
(Cell) 727-692-6345
Owner and site administrator:

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.

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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.