By Neil Taylor
The action has been pretty decent. The schedule, decent. I did better than most guides through this situation.
We are all hoping for consistent daily rains, plenty of cloud cover and some dropping of the water temperatures around Tampa Bay. Floating weeds have been a perpetual problem for the past two weeks. Those same weeds have also led to some redfish and snook catches. With all the heat, these fish have been laying under the mats of weeds that are blown up against a shoreline. If a lure can be kept weedless, they have been willing to dart out from under these weed mats to eat them.
The incredible stretch of heat made for tougher than usual fishing conditions. The evening trips provided some relief as the morning trips were very hot from about 7:30AM onward. Typically, we have been setting out at 5:30 in the morning. That has yielded results.
At night in upper Tampa Bay the bioluminescence was a beautiful sight. Fish darting around looked like rocket fueled lasers. The sweep of the paddle also created beautiful fluorescent green puffs.
Back on the bridges, pompano are not as easy as I hope they will be. Although we are catching a few, last year it was July and August when we were catching pompano easily. The rig: The yellow Silly Willy with a pink teaser (with a small bit of white flash). Pompano are exceptional eating. Make sure you familiarize yourself with what a permit is. The limits are different.
Flounder are gone. Happened a few times in years past this time of year. Will they be back? It is a flip of the coin. The baitfish in, usually the flounder stay. They were in three months ago and they just faded.
Trout are easy. Even on the poor tides they are eating. We are throwing the 12 Fathom SlamR to them all the time. That is also your flounder lure. The closure of trout, gradually they are getting bigger. I’m surprised that there aren’t more large trout.
Redfish, better, still not a great option. Oh, to go back to what they were eight years ago. The same goes for snook. Some gains but it is a process. A process hindered by wrong management. My predictions: Dead on. We are nowhere near what we had in 2009
Poor tides on other days were preserved as scheduled “days off.” One thing is for sure: When the tides and weather were both good, the fishing was very good. A mix of species caught. I’ve still tried to mostly go when the tides are better but some people could only go on days where the tides weren’t exceptional. We really only had one tough day. Mediocre tide but I would say the heat, combined with the tide made it one of those bad summertime bites. The fish were there. The guy got the strikes: He just didn’t catch as many as we normally have been.
Another trip for Casey, I told him to bring live shrimp. I put him on old Skyway rubble. He caught a nice snapper right away. He got mackerel. Not a huge bite but he caught some. Again: On a better tide, he would have caught more.
The fishing will be just fine. Call to book a trip if you have the itch to go!
Capmel.com, new articles added by Terry Tomalin and Frank Sargeant. Articles by Mel will go up in the near future. There are literally a couple hundred left to add.
As always: Be careful out there!
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