Weather patterns are on the move and so are the fish! We have had some fronts for the past 3 weeks or so, and with that has come volatile fishing conditions. When that North wind blows and those big moons come out, it changes everything in the bay! Schools of redfish seem to move and often times seemingly disappear from our area flats, and the fish freak out a little so to speak. Then a couple days later the winds settle down, the fish get comfy again…and all is right again in the world. This fall has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but with that said we have still done very well. It takes a lot of time on the water, scouting, fishing, and a few good guesses and you can find loads of premier game fish in Tampa Bay even amidst adverse conditions.
Here are Colin, Mike, and Chad with an awesome overslot redfish triple header. These fish were caught on Penn Spinfisher V 3500’s with Medium Hurricane Redbone rods and 1/0 Eupro circle hooks using live whitebait.
The snook are loaded on the flats when the weather is settled. Also as we start to experience our daytime low tides you can find these fish on deep water drop offs and in large potholes that still hold water. Live whitebait has been the bait of choice for the male fish ranging from 20-26″, but to get that slot fish and bigger we have had better luck slowing it down a bit with pinfish in some sort of wounded fashion.
Here is Augustine who was in visiting his son Cesar with a beauty 32″ snook caught on the same rig as above!
What else is out there…everything right now! Kingfish off the beach, triple tail on the traps, pompano at the bridges and structure, and snapper, grouper, AJ, and cobia in the nearshore waters. I don’t get the opportunity to hit those species as much, but I as well as a few captains I work closely with have all had great success on our good calm weather days in the waters up to 10 miles offshore!
Lastly, it was also tournament time the last month with a lot of corporate and charity events. We had a day we caught 57 redfish in about 2.5 hrs one trip, caught the 3rd place trout another tourney, 75 snook a different tourney along with big overslot reds, and was fortunate enough to fish and win the Hawks, Line, and Sinker Hillsborough Community College Annual Fishing Tournament. Here is John my winning angler below with his 33″ snook!