Fishing Report Tampa Bay

a tampa fisherman with a redfish

Cold Winter should Bring Some Great Spring Fishing For 2018

Well 2018 has brought some of the coldest weather we have had in
years. While this might make for some though fishing for the beginning
of the year history shows that it should make for some great spring
fishing.

February is a month of change. Its a month that offers change from
winter tactic spring. Typically our bait shows up on the markers and
bridges and fish are not far behind the bait. Snook fishing towards
the end of the month should be on fire. Once that bait shows up you
can count on catching Snook and with a cold January Snook will be on
the prowl.

In addition to Snook would have to be Sea Trout. While our Trout
fishing has been sub par in past years Im hopeful that this has just
been an off few years and that they will bounce back this year with a
normal winter. Trout fishing is typically good throughout the winter
but the big breeders come out to play around the end of February and
into March. Trout is one of my top fish to target with artificials and
you can’t go wrong with a Zman Paddlerz. My favorite color would have
to be pearl white. If you are going to use live bait shrimp work well
with a #1 Daiichi circle hook. I also have a lot of success using
Cajun Thunder Back Bay floats. Always use a Dehooker on Trout. I see
people everyday handing these fish on releases improperly and they are
just not very hearty fish.

Redfish is still on the radar but will depend on when the higher tides
fall during the month. This time of year we are fishing more negative
low tides than high tides so the amount of water to get close to the
fish is very limited. Water is also very clear so fish tend to spook
off easier. This being said I would not count out Redfish. Good
options are to get out on a paddle board and wade fish these spots.
This will give you a stealthy approach and allow you to get closer to
the fish. I really like throwing artificial baits but don’t count out
live shrimp. The Mirrolure Mirrodine is also a great option as well.

Sheepshead are one of the hidden jewels this time of year. Most see
these toothy critters on the flats but I like to fish the wrecks and
ledges in deeper water. For me it seems these fish feed better and are
more aggressive. Having a good bottom machine is key to find the
ledges that hold fish. I can tell you that using side imaging on these
wrecks makes a huge difference. It gives you eyes underwater to the
entire area instead of just downward. My Simrad does the trick with
the down and side imaging. There are a bunch of different bait that
work for Sheepshead but I typically just use smaller shrimp. Its
readily available at all bait shops…..

Captain Jason Prieto is a native resident of Tampa and has fished

Tampa Bay and its surrounding waters for the past 20 years. He is

owner and operator of Steady Action Fishing Charters which is based

out of lower Tampa Bay. To book a charter, you can reach him at

813-727-9890 or www.steadyactionfishingcharters.com. If you would like

to catch him on the internet tune into Tampa Fishing Outfitters

Fishing Show On Facebook live and You tube from 6 to 7Pm every

Wednesday evening Come join us in the fun..

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