Rivers to Bay Report By: Capt. John Rivers

It’s June, and a lot of anglers are eager to get out and see if they can pull up a grouper from the depths along the Skyway or the shipping channel in Tampa Bay. Grouper opened up on June 1st,, but always check www.myfwc.com for any fishing regulations or changes.

Let’s talk about what else is going on in Tampa Bay in June. Tarpon are all over the beaches, at the Skyway and in Tampa Bay. If you’re looking to bow up on one of these silver kings, now is the month to do it. Next is snook, and the bite has been on fire with a lot of big fish being caught. One of my tricks to catching big snook is cut threadfin, but keep these little secrets to yourself and you’ll be the one bragging back at the dock. Redfish was outstanding back in May and should be very good, as well, in June. But, you’ll have to change up your tactics to catch them, because the tides will be higher and the fish will be hiding up under the mangroves. Just make sure you present your bait as close to the mangroves or under them as possible. Trout fishing will start to slow down as the water heats up. They will still be around, but the bite won’t be as good as it was in April and May.

Let’s switch things over to bait for minute. It will be on the flats in most places now, so you don’t have to go too far to find it. I like to use Purina fish food mixed with a little salt water to make a paste. I start chumming about 30 minutes before sunrise and, once the sun starts to come up, there is usually a 45-minute window when bait is ready and plentiful. I throw the new Lee Fisher Humpback 10-foot, ¼ inch mesh,1 per foot flats net. It’s easy to throw and gets me all the bait I need for a full day of fishing. Last thing, let’s talk tackle. My set up for inshore fishing is Bull Bay’s Banshee 7-foot 6-inch 6 to 12-pound rod. I match it up with a 3000 Shimano Stradic fishing reel, 15-pound Spiderwire (camo blue stealth) and my typical leader is 20 to 30-pound. The hook I use is a Gamakatsu 1/0 # 332411 or size 2 #332409, The reason for the different size hooks depends upon what size bait I’m going to use.

As you can see, there is a lot of fishing to do in Tampa Bay in June. There’s even more to talk about, but I’ve run out of space; and, wouldn’t you rather get out on the water and start catching anyway? That’s what I thought. Tight Lines!

Capt. John

Capt. John Rivers operates Rivers to Bay Fishing Charters out of Tampa Bay and Tarpon Springs. With 18 years guiding experience 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