August was brutally hot, but not to worry. I have good news, only a few more weeks and fall will be here. These past few weeks, the temps have been in the 90’s and water temps are very similar on the flats. It will be a nice change for the somewhat cooler temps, which will drop the water temperature and so, in turn, the bite will pick up and that’s a good thing for sure.
What’s biting? The mangrove snapper, that’s what. August and September are typically great months for these tasty fish. And, since they are open year-round, if you want to take home some fillets for dinner, go right ahead. You are allowed five per person with the smallest being 10 inches. See the FWC website for up-to-date regulations. www.myfwc.com.
So, if the tide is ripping too fast at the start of our trip, I’ll target snook and reds first, wait ‘till the tide slows down and then we’ll go after the mangos. September can be a slightly tough month to fish the back country in Tampa Bay–either due to hot water temps or slow tidal flow. That’s why I target mangrove snapper a lot in September–they are typically deeper where the water is cooler. When I target snook, I’ll make sure I have good water movement and water as clean as I can find.
Red fishing for me again has been hit and miss, more than likely because red fish move around more than other fish do. The last three weeks of September, large schools of redfish start to show up in Tampa Bay–which can make the last few weeks very productive on light tackle.
So, even though it’s a little hot out still, bring some Gatorade, your favorite rod and reel, and go fishing. It’s more preferable in the morning when it’s a little cooler and, also, if you have moving water, you’re going to keep that rod bent. Tight lines, have a great September and catch ‘em up.
Capt. John Rivers operates Rivers To Bay Fishing Charters out of Tampa Bay and Tarpon Springs. With 18 years guiding experince and over 40 years of fishing knowledge, he can assure you a professional / fun fishing adventure. Single or multi boat trips available. www.tampabayinshoreguides.com