Tampa Bay Offers Endless Possibilities
Tampa Bay is one of the nation’s premier fishing destinations and for a good reason. We offer some of the best fishing mixed with some of the best places to visit. With all kinds of things to do and that great Florida weather it is a hot spot to visit. I’ve been fortunate to call this home my entire life and about 13 years ago I took it up a notch and now I call Tampa Bay work. I spend 275 days on the water as a full time guide and I can tell you that the possibilities of things to target seem endless. From Reds on the flats, Tarpon on the reefs, and awesome Grouper fishing inside the bay as well… It’s a place that is filled with different types of species.
Grouper fishing is something that is considered an offshore fishing but little do people know we have a ton of Gag Grouper in the bay. You can troll for them and have a good bit of success but I like to bottom fish or even free line baits back depending on the depths. As fishing offshore you will want a good bottom machine to find these little ledges that hold those big fish.. I love using the new Simrad 16inch with the all new 3D technology. This makes it a bit easier to find those secret Grouper holes.
Tarpon season has really been off due to rain and windy for May and June. This is kind of looking like a great late summer Tarpon run inside the bay. This is challenging but nothing is more rewarding than figuring out Tarpon in the bay… Gear for summer tarpon is pretty simple. I like the 60lb Fluorocarbon leader with 60 lb braided line matched with a 5/0 Daiichi circle hook. Match this with a extra heavy St Croix Avid Spinning rod and Daiwa Saltist reel and all you have to do fish hook the fish.
Reds in the summer are also a hot topic s schools still hang around the flats. Getting an early start is key when finding Reds this time of year as water temperatures climb quick from the heat of the day. Bait of choice for Reds would have to be cut bait on the bottom but don’t forget to have a Mirrolure Mirodine tied up for those fast moving school that will hit anything in site…
Mangrove Snapper is something I love to do this time of year. As the fry bait moves up onto the flats the Snapper stack into the bay. Using this smaller fry bait will chum the Snapper to the surface and make for some great fishing for both the kids and adults.. Snapper fishing in the bay is some of the best fishing you will do and is steady action throughout the day
Last but not least would have to be one of my favorite fish to target. That would have to be Snook. Snook fishing in Tampa Bay is some of the best around the entire state and in the summer months the big breeders stack up around the spoil Islands to spawn. This makes for some great inshore action that any bass fisherman from up north would LOVE to do. One of my favorite ways to target Snook is a frisky greenback matched with a Cajun Thunder float. It’s just as good as watching a bass blow up on a top water at first light. Anyone that has not targeted Snook is missing out on some of the best fishing anyone could experience. If you are looking to target one of the species above and want to get out on a good day in Tampa Bay give me a call on my cell 813-727-9890
Captain Jason Prieto is a full time captain and has been fishing the waters of Tampa Bay since he was a kid. He is a native Floridian and would love to share his knowledge and experience through his charters. If you are interested in booking a trip you can reach him at 813-727-9890 or www.steadyactionfishingcharters.com.
Great Weather And Sunny Days Make The South Shore a Fishy Place!
It’s March and weather is starting to take a shift towards the spring. Days are getting longer, sun is shining brighter and every day the temperatures feel a bit warmer. This means spring fishing is upon us. Here is the most up to date report to keep you guys catching fish.
When I think March I can’t think of nothing other than Snook. Snook fishing is good just about year round but March is one of the best months to fish for Snook. You will find hundreds of thousands of fish moving out of the 4 major rivers systems that feed into Tampa Bay. These rivers provide excellent habitat for Snook during the cold months of January and February. During this time most Snook keep feeding to a minimum and focus more on survival. When that water hits the 70 degree mark they start to make their presence on the flats. At the same time we start to get our bait run and a mixture of the two and you will have some of the best Snook fishing of the year. Greenbacks are the key and can be hard to find as it’s still cold. I’ll give you a hint: look deep around the towers and bridges and bring plenty of chum and make sure to have a heavy 12ft net. Finding bait can be a bit tricky but it is the difference between catching a lot of Snook and just getting a few fish.
Once you have bait out of the way good places to look are creeks, passes leading in and out of the flats, and potholes. Snook will use these areas as ambush points and will let the tide bring the bait to them. Tide (just mentioned) is another key ingredient to catching lots of Snook. Snook like to wait and ambush bait as they run through with the tide. This means you really want to fish for Snook around the stronger tides of the month. These times fall around the new and full moons. Make a mental note that Snook like to feed at night anyways so fishing around the Full Moon at night is a great option. Chumming is a technique created decades ago by some of the best Snook guides around. This is the key to catching a lot of Snook. By chumming you create a feeding frenzy and Snook tend to put their guard down. You can really have a banner day by loading up the well with Greenies.
Last bit of good information I can give you before heading out to the water is rigging. Snook fishing in March is great and rigging is simple. I love to just free line baits this time of year. Water clarity is very clear so 30lb Fluorocarbon leader will be perfect and keep your hook size small with 1/0 Daiichi circle hook. Match this with fins 10 braided line and you will have the perfect Snook combo.
If you would like to get out on the water to do a Snook fishing charter this would be the ultimate learning experience. I love teaching people about fishing, if you would like to get out call 813-727-9890. Tight lines!!
Well 2020 ended and man I’m glad to get afresh start with anew year. 2020 had surprises like no one could imagine and it has been a challenge to be a full-time fishing guide in Tampa Bay. But I am hopeful for a better 2021 and things will soon get better. Fishing wise 2020 was a good one and it ended on a good note with plenty for Snook, Reds and Trout mixed with a bunch of other species mixed in. Here is a look at what to expect for January of 2021
As water cools fish will eventually make their way up the rivers and creeks. Snook fishing looks to be very productive going into one of the colder months of the year. As long as the white bait stays in the bay the Snook fishing will continue to be productive. Look to fish creeks and residential canals as these areas that provide warmer water and we all know Snook like warmer water this time of year. Free lined bait is a great option; 30lb Fluorocarbon leader matched with Daiichi 1/0 circle hook will ensure for a safe release. Remember Snook are catch and release.
Bait will move around the deepest areas of the bay and eventually make its way to the mouth by the Skyway. Catching bait is a chore and can provide more challenges as it shifts to the markers. Having a good sonar is a plus so you can see it on the bottom. Bait tends to gather on the bottom as water is warmer. I also like to use side sonar or as Lowrance calls it Structure Scan. This actually shoots a signal to either side of the boat so you can see if the bait is actually inside the towers. Lowrance HDS makes great detail sonar that makes the job a little easier. Bring some chum to bring the bait to the surface and the heaviest 12 foot net you can find and you will be ready to catch bait.
If going through all that effort is not your thing, shrimp is another option that can be very productive during the winter months. You will catch a variety of species on shrimp and you don’t have to worry about throwing the net. Redfish love shrimp and makes for a slow presentation which is needed on the colder days. Soaking a select sized shrimp on the bottom will be a very productive way to catch a ton of Reds this time of year.
Trout fishing has to be a top producer as well. Trout from all sizes flood the flats and seem to LOVE artificial bait. You will have a ball catching numbers and size. Zman paddlerz and minnoz soft [plastics are some of the top producers. Remember that Trout are very slimy for a reason because the slime coat protects them. It’s always a good idea to have a De hooker handy on the boat to release fish safely and to keep the kill rate down so we have fish for years to come. Tight lines!