Summer Game Plan

By: Capt. Mike Ikemeier

Fishing in the Tampa Bay area has been crazy lately! The snook and redfish bite has been great, and the grouper are starting to show up thick! These past few weeks we have been fishing the flats early for snook and redfish. We fish for these fish early because of the extreme temperatures here in the Tampa Bay area. In the afternoons, the water can get as hot as 91 degrees, so we must hit it before the fish move into deeper water. The very unique part of this is after we target redfish and snook we go out to deeper water for the grouper and snapper fishing. There are not many places where you can catch snook and redfish and go less than a mile away and be ripping grouper off the bottom! It’s an amazing experience to be able to chase snook and redfish shallow and then feel the power of grouper in the same day. Also, another unique and very fun experience is dock light fishing at night. While dock light fishing you can see the fish in the light and watch them eat your bait. It’s basically shooting fish in a barrel. The dock lights can hold snook, redfish, snapper, and sometimes even tarpon and recently on the tarpon have been very thick on the lights! Another very cool experience is fishing docks for grouper. Just like bass fishing we flip under docks with big live baits. Usually, we’ll use pinfish or big pilchards and there is nothing like trying to pull a grouper out of a dock. You must also have patience, or you will break the line. It is pretty cool being able to catch a 24+ inch grouper out from under a dock in only 5 feet of water! You can also find them around the Skyway Bridge. Fishing around the Skyway we don’t only just find grouper, but you can catch a wide variety of fish that are certainly tablefare! For example, one of my favorite fish to eat in the bay is mangrove snapper and, on the Skyway, mangrove snapper are plentiful and can get pretty big. Overall, fishing in the Bay has been great. Give us a call and join us on the adventure of a lifetime!