Tampa Bay Fishing Report By: Capt. Woody Gore

Cooling water temperatures have the snook bite going strong. They should become even more active, as they get acclimated to the lower water temps. Having maintained decent snook action most of the Summer and early Fall, November should continue with plenty of action.

Redfish were active last month and should continue to be into November. Good red fishing should continue with catches around oyster bars, mangroves and broken bottom grass flats. We’re using mostly cut pinfish and cut ladyfish.

The trout bite continues to get stronger right into and through the Winter months, so be prepared for some decent Winter trout action. Always try to fish strong incoming and outgoing tides using artificial lures, live greenbacks and shrimp. Freeline your baits with a small split shot or a popping cork. Use a split shot to keep it away from the birds.

Mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish should still be hanging around feeding on bait schools. Live greenbacks or a silver spoon will work well and, if you’re really looking for some exciting action, try a topwater. Don’t turn your nose up about ladyfish; they can be loads of fun. The one thing to remember is to always use a de-hooker at the side of the boat. If you bring the fish into the boat, they have a tendency to defecate everywhere, including on you.

Mangrove snapper are found on every rock pile or structure around Tampa Bay and are fairly easy to catch, but you’ve got to be quick. A small knocker or Carolina rig with a #1 or 1/0 hook should produce a nice meal. They’re really partial to small greenbacks and shrimp.

Pompano are showing up around the bridges. I’m seeing some nice catches coming to the dock. Bridge pilings are a great place for pompano, because the barnacles have grown up over the years and now attract small crabs, shrimp and other sources of food.

Other places to fish are around the mouths of passes, mainly those with a drop off near the mouth. These are ideal spots to fish an incoming tide, as pompano will be in the deeper water waiting for the tide to flush sand fleas and crabs over the drop.

Cobia are often found around range markers, channel markers and bridges during November. Toss a pinfish, greenback or artificial eel, wait for the rod to bend, then hold on and crank.