South Shore Tampa Bay By: Capt. Christopher Taylor

Summer Snook

Snook fishing is at its prime in Tampa Bay in the morning and evening hours of the day. Focus on targeting snook along mangroves during high tide and grass flats on the outgoing tides. Submerged oyster bars and docks make for great fishing, as well. If you know a few tricks and techniques, you have a good chance of catching one of these hard fighting fish.

Palm sized pinfish on a 1/4-ounce jighead hooked from underneath the tail, or cut ladyfish freelined will definitely do the job. Scaled sardines also work well. I recommend catching enough to use for bait, as well as, a few extra to throw as chum. You will be able to find these baitfish at the channel markers and shallow-to-deep transition areas nearest boat channels. I use a 10-foot cast net to gather my bait. I can usually catch enough bait for a trip in one or two casts. These fish are looking for an easy meal right now.

When it comes to tides, incoming or outgoing, as long as the water is moving, you’re good. If you see mullet jumping, good. If you see birds flying around picking off baitfish, even better. The more activity in the water, the better the chances are of you nailing a big fish and releasing a trophy.

There is no doubt that the snook is king, when it comes to muscle and long runs on the flats. Beauty and strength give the snook its value as a highly sought after sport fish. When in search of these awesome fish, it helps to bring a friend along. At least, that’s what seems to work for most of my clients.

If you’re fishing the Southshore side of the Bay, I recommend stopping at Hooked Up Bait and Tackle off of US 41 and Beach Avenue. Augustine always has everything you need for a good day of fishing.