Rivers to Bay Report By: Capt. John Rivers

It’s officially Spring in the Tampa Bay Area. Snook are all over the place and are feeding well. Water temps are right where they should be, which puts the fish in a good mood. This means bent rods and screaming drags.

Live bait is the best choice but, if you like tossing artificials, no worries– you’ll catch your fair share as well.

Here are a few lures that I like when targeting snook, redfish and trout. Headon’s Spook is my go-to for top-water. For redfish and trout, I like tossing a 4-inch paddle tail. One of my favorite colors is white and clear with red metal flake. Snook in Tampa Bay are live bait feeders, but you can still get them to eat artificials. I like a 1/8-ounce snake-lock jig head with a ZMan Paddlerz.

Schools of redfish are also showing up on the flats in a few areas. These fish are very boat shy, so be quiet and patient and you’ll hook a few. Once again, live or cut bait has been the best way to hook these skittish bronze beauties. Some of the redfish schools have been beat up by some fishermen, but that’s just how it goes with the number of boaters on the water these days; so, again, be patient and you’ll hook a few. They are mostly oversized fish, which means your drag is going to scream.

The sheepshead bite is still going strong in Tampa Bay. The rock piles, jetties and bridges have been producing some nice catches. Live shrimp, fiddler and mud crabs have been the baits of choice.

If you’re going to be in the Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg or Clearwater area, give me a ring. I trailer my boat to the best fishing spots, so we don’t have a long boat ride to the fish. With 15 years of guiding under my belt, you’ll be in good hands if you jump aboard my New 2360 Ranger and go on a fishing adventure with me.

Tight Lines.


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





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