Tampa Bay Fishing Report By: Capt. Woody Gore

Snook fishing will continue to be strong this month with larger fish still on the beaches. Expect to see them bunched up near passes and deeper holes. Patience will pay off when looking for larger fish. The larger fish seem to be responding strongly to dead baits like cut ladyfish or chunks of pinfish. If you use lures, there’s also a chance you can pick up a trout or redfish.

August should see more redfish action around the Bay. This past month, getting reds to bite with any consistency was sometimes difficult. Those we did catch we got on dead baits.  Like snook, target reds in the morning for your best chance of landing one.

Trout fishing can be fun, especially when you find larger fish that are willing to eat. I’ve been getting into some good action in deeper water and around the fish attractors using free-lined greenbacks. Also, check out the deep grass flats in the 3 to 4-foot range. Use a popping cork with greenbacks, small pinfish or shrimp. If you’re into artificial lures, jigheads and soft plastic tails will do the trick.

Markers and sandy flats equal cobia. These fish frequent markers, especially those holding threadfins. They also cruise the flats following rays and manatees. When marker fishing, keep a chum bag out, since you just never know what might show up.

Tampa Bay is loaded with big Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Look for schools of threadfins–put out a chum bag and hold on. As of late, I have been seeing mackerel catches up to three and four pounds, as well as, some of the biggest blues ever. This is great excitement on light tackle.

For some exciting top water action, try tail hooking your bait and let it work against the current. This forces the bait to the top resulting in some great strikes.

Tarpon fishing at the bridges and beaches has its good and bad days. Recently, we’ve been seeing nice pods along the beaches in upper Tampa Bay. Threadfins, crabs and larger sardines should work. If you’re a night-fishing person, try fishing bridge light lines.

Grey snapper seem to be showing up everywhere. Pieces of live shrimp or cut sardines on a quarter ounce (or heavier depending on the current) knocker rig usually works great. Just find a bridge, rock pile, dock or just about any structure and it’s fish-on.




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