Rivers to Bay Report By: Capt. John Rivers

Despite the groundhog’s prediction, Spring has shown up in Tampa Bay and Clearwater Beach. And, not only are the tourists happy, so are the fishies!

With the warmer temps heating up the water these past two weeks, the fish are in feeding mode for sure–they have been crushing everything I toss at them. I love when I hear the sweet sound of the drag and the line peeling off, which means we’ve got a good one on. What are you going to expect to catch this time of year? The sheepshead bite is still on, but not as strong as it was in February. You will still catch a few on some of the rock piles in the Bay–just toss out a shrimp or fiddler crab to get them interested.

Red fishing has been pretty decent, too. We’re catching a few while snook fishing on the flats using both shrimp and live pilchards. I’m still using 20-pound leader and a 1/0 Gamakatsu circle hook.  Moving on to snook, the bite has been tremendous, with the average fish measuring around 20 inches and, on a few of my last trips, fish in the 30-inch range, which definitely put a smile on my clients’ faces. I’ve not been doing much trout fishing the past three weeks, since the snook bite has been off the charts. If you’re looking to hook up a few trout, move into about 3 to 5 feet of water and toss out a pilchard on a cork and hang on–you’ll most certainly swing a few into the boat!

So, as you can tell, Spring fishing has really fired off in Tampa Bay and the surrounding area waterways in the past few days, and March is a very good month to get out on the water.

As always, if you’re looking for a professional fishing guide with 20 years of experience, give me a ring and we’ll get you hooked up.

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.r2bfishing.com