Tampa Bay Fishing Report By: Capt. Woody Gore

Artificial Lures

Over the years, I have personally figured out that I’m an artificial lure angler. My passion has progressed to spot casting and then skipping lures and soft plastics under docks, around oyster bars and overhanging mangroves. Skipping is relatively straightforward; you use the same technique as skipping a flat stone across the water. The only difference is that you have a rod and reel in your hand. Although it takes time to learn, you can practice each time you’re on the water.

When switching to artificial lures, it’s essential to identify and target places that just look fishy. Redfish like those scattered oyster beds, mangrove shorelines and old barnacle-encrusted docks. Yep, you’ve got it. It’s those same unused docks getting little to no foot traffic. Artificial anglers must also be on alert for places where currents flow around the ends of mangrove shorelines or points. Any moving water is an excellent place for snook.

Fish are notorious for changing locations, primarily because of food and water temperatures. Like ourselves, you must remember fish seek out locations with food and water temperatures that make them comfortable. Always recall and keep track of what the fish are feeding on, because there are times when fish get selective. Matching the hatch always puts you ahead of the game.

On windy and rainy days, the waters get muddy or tannin-stained. Muddy or stained waters require slowing down your retrieval, while you might speed it up in clear and transparent waters.

Tossing artificial lures is very gratifying. And, I’ll guarantee that, when making the switch, you will change your thinking; especially, when you start catching those big redfish, spotted sea trout and snook on something other than live bait.