Fishing: Around Tampa Bay
1 At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, red tide remains a problem, worse some days than others depending on wind direction. Even so, slot-sized snook and redfish some nights on greenbacks. No
Spanish mackerel yet. A few pompano and mangrove snapper when red tide isn´t a problem.
2 At Madeira Beach, rough seas caused by Hurricane Rita have kept boats inshore this week. Red tide continues to affect offshore trips for grouper, with the bloom up to 50 miles out. Inshore waters clearing, with Spanish mackerel just starting to show.
3 At John’s Pass, Capt. Chuck MacIntyre of Treasure Island (727709-9045) reports a few snook at night on live shrimp around some of the lighted docks in Boca Ciega Bay. But it’s inconsistent, with spotty red tide still lingering along the Intracoastal. Also a few trout on live shrimp around docks.
4 At Fort DeSoto Park, red tide remains a problem, shutting down fishing at piers and in park.
5 Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, flats fishing has been a little off over the past week because of wind and rain associated with Hurricane Rita, but still one of best spots on west coast for snook and redfish. Water cooling and bigger snook on flats until cold fronts begin to blow.
6 At Anna Maria, Capt. Jon Bull of Lakeland (863-860-7250) reports some good trips for snook in upper Sarasota Bay around mangrove islands on weedless D.O.A. 3-inch shadtails (Melonback, Rainbow Trout, Golden Bream colors) rigged with a Woodies Rattle. Greenbacks also effective. At the city pier, red tide causing dead fish washed up on beach by swells from Hurricane Rita.
7 At St. Petersburg, snook and redfish active on southeast side of Tampa Bay. Capt. Bobby Blizzard of Lakeland (863-661-6623) reports snook up to 35 inches and reds up to 32 inches at Cockroach Bay on incoming tides with greenbacks. John Carter of Lakeland produced a flats slam — snook, trout and redfish — within 15 minutes on a trip last Thursday with Capt. Blizzard. Snook also cooperating for Capt. Jon Bull north of E.G. Simmons Park, with fish up to 32 inches for members of Central Florida Kayak Club on Sunday with weedless jerkbaits around mangroves on flood tides. For more information on kayak club, check www.extremeedgefishing.com.
8 In the north end of Tampa Bay, flats cooling off slightly, improving action for redfish and bigger snook as fall season gets under way.
Lennie Grinstead of Lakeland caught 23 snook up to 27 inches, along with trout and tarpon, on artificial lures in the back country of the Everglades with Capt. Ron Tomlin of Lakeland (863-660-5428 or www.naturalhighadventures.net) last weekend. Tomlin said snook are also hitting around the outside islands out of Chokoloskee.
Capt. Jon Bull of Lakeland (Shadowcast Charters at 863-860-7250) reports action-packed trips for snook, reds and juvenile tarpon on artificials in the creeks and rivers that empty into the Indian River Lagoon. The fall mullet run has perked up the bite. Weedless D.O.A. jerkbaits (4- and 5.5-inch Glow color) and D.O.A. Glow Shrimp doing the job, as well as D.O.A. Baitbusters (gold flake, black back).
COMPILED BY DEL MILLIGAN