Upper Tampa Bay, Neil Taylor

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Plunging toward the month of May, great opportunities in the northern extent of the Bay. Redfish and trout will remain the best options. The numbers of snook continue to remain poor and there is little question that the recovery of that species is still going to take years. Most of the veteran anglers are steering clear of the species hoping that, left alone, they will be back to a great stature again in the future. It is going to take a long time. We need about five generations of fish and we need them to live to “past slot” maturity. It is a shame to see the people who are fishing this species. They don’t need the pressure.

Redfish remain a decent target but probably not as easy as the previous three spring seasons. They like the shorelines on high tides and stay in depths of 1.5 feet of water at all other tides. The rootbeer 12 Fathom Mullet is a killer bait for these fish. Make long casts and keep the lure down by the bottom. Redfish in Upper Tampa Bay are notoriously aggressive compared to other places around the regions.

Trout are still being caught, big trout, if you know exactly where to go. Large trout, over 25 inches, have been regular catches in the evenings in parts of Upper Tampa Bay. They are eating jigs and topwater lures. The Mirrolure series of topwater lures is exceptional for targeting and catching big trout on topwater lures. Try the Top Dog Junior “18” and see how they respond to it.

Big black drum are available at the bridge pilings. Pompano will be soon to follow. Upsize the tackle if this is something you want to do. Your trout outfits will make this battle last a long time.

Regular rains may help or hinder the action in the upper stretches of Tampa Bay. The rainy season is coming up fast. Get out and enjoy the action in this part of our waters!

I love Upper Tampa Bay. I wish it was good 12 months a year.

Neil Taylor, strikethreekayakfishing.com
Owner, capmel.com

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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 www.capmel.com and eventually became that web site’s owner.