Neil Taylor: Upper Tampa Bay


What’s happenin’ in the upper stretches of the Bay?

Same as mentioned before:   Not going to the Upper Bay much but I am hearing of a lot of redfish being found.   The water quality is bad.    Rainwater runoff, pollution and algae blooms this is not my favorite location to be in the middle of summer.    There are fish up this way year round, I just spend more time in this part of the Bay in the cooler months.

Black drum have arrived in good numbers.   Last year’s average size fish was around 60 pounds with many that were caught in the 70 pound category.  One, state record size.   The Silly Willy with a teaser is the way to go, same as with Pompano.   This is already a great option but they should STACK in one location any day now.

Pompano action still hasn’t accelerated but should explode any day now. Last year September was tops for best action.         It probably will be again this year.    Good size, the pompano of the south shore are probably moving up the Bay.

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.  Changes:  The host site will be decided.    I will have that narrowed down in the next week or so.

Kayak Fishing Skool continues:  August 24 at The 8th Avenue Pub, Safety Harbor.   New start time, 6PM.   Live music starts at 7 so I’m moving up Skool to a 6PM start.

See ya the next time around.    As always: Be careful out there!

Neil Taylor
Owner and guide:
(Cell) 727-692-6345
Owner and site administrator:
Stay alert and make a difference:

Keep an eye out and make the phone calls.    Illegal nets found in Upper Tampa Bay have been confiscated thanks to the tips from citizens.    Working with the field staff, I personally know that they have a great response rate on the calls I make.    Too many people do not make the attempt because they did not get a response in the past.      Trust me, they do the best they can and they do respond as quickly as possible.

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.  If you see a poacher:  Make a phone call.

At the request of my contemporaries, “keeping the message alive”:    If you catch a snook:  don’t take it out of the water for eight minutes taking pictures.    Don’t “get a weight” of the fish.    Enjoy the species if you cross paths, but take extra steps to make sure those fish remain in the living population.     A huge contingency of the best respected fishing guides on the Gulf coast opposed their decision to reopen to harvest, made sincere pleads over and over to get the decision reversed but were ignored.  Do your part and try to give this species a chance to return to prominence regardless of their faulty data and poor decision making.  A released snook not harvested preserves the future of our species, one that could face stresses like algae blooms and another freeze.




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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.