Snook, redfish and trout have remained strong through this fishing season. Snook seem to be everywhere, especially around the flats and mangrove shorelines. They are willing to take greenbacks or artificial lures tossed in their direction. Redfish usually haunt the same areas, often cruising open flats and sandy patches early, then moving into the mangrove shade during the heat of the day. Trout will usually stay on the open grass flats hanging around broken bottom potholes taking advantage of the surplus food supply. Remember, snook, redfish and trout are catch and release only.
The snapper bite is going strong around structure or any one of the many artificial reefs throughout Tampa Bay. Small fry greenbacks or shrimp work well.
Mackerel fishing is on fire and Tampa Bay is loaded. This means some real excitement on spinning tackle using 50 to 60-pound Seaguar leader and 2/0 long shank Daiichi hooks. Just find the schools of threadfins or greenbacks, net a few, put out a chum bag and hold onto your rod and reel.
Markers and grass flats, especially those holding bait, equal Cobia. They often cruise the miles of open grass flats, following rays and manatees, always on the lookout for a quick snack. When fishing open water flats, it’s always a good idea to have a rod and reel rigged for something larger. You never know when one might slide by.
Tarpon fishing should continue this month. Many begin moving offshore to spawn. Threadfin herring, crabs, larger greenbacks are all over Tampa Bay and work very well for tarpon. The Skyway Bridge, Anna Maria, St. Pete Beaches, and Egmont Key should be holding plenty of fish in the coming months.