Last week we started to get a taste for things to come in the fishing world. As the water warmed over several days of upper 70-degree weather, the fish responded.
Trout fishing on the strong part of the incoming tide was phenomenal. Schools of adult trout can be found around many of the spoil islands in the northern part of the county. Whether you choose to cast artificials, or free-line a variety of different kinds of live bait, this good fishing opportunity should continue for weeks to come.
Redfish were on the chew last week as well. Big afternoon high tides allowed the reds to make their way up to the mangroves where they could scour oyster mounds for crabs. Casting live shrimp under a float up to the oyster mounds is perhaps one of the best ways to catch redfish in our area; the strikes can be explosive.
As water temperatures continue to rise it came as no surprise that Spanish mackerel would begin to show up as they take advantage of the first real bait stocks of the spring season. Deep grass patches near the passes will hold the small bait that the mackerel are feeding on. Cast weighted jigs, spoons or live shrimp with a long shanked hook when targeting the mackerel.
Offshore bottom fishing has been excellent for mangrove snapper. Ledges and artificial reefs in 30 to 50 feet of water are holding snapper ranging in size from 12 to 18 inches. Dropping down a chum basket will encourage the mangos to go on a feeding frenzy. Small live shrimp on a small hook and a long light leader with half ounce up to an ounce and a half sliding sinker will put you in the game.
Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to editorial@TBNweekly.com or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.