Neil Taylor, Lower Tampa Bay


By Neil Taylor,

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.

Flounder: Not yet.  But it should be soon.

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 good numbers.   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.

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!

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
Owner and guide:
(Cell) 727-692-6345
Owner and site administrator:
Co-host: Outdoor Fishing Adventures, 8 to 9AM Sundays on 1040 “The Team” ESPN Radio

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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.