Picture-perfect weather has been the norm recently. Both fish and Mother Nature seem to be on the same page. It’s hard to imagine better fishing anywhere. Enjoy these days, as it won’t be long before it’s smoking hot for days on end and the summer doldrums begin.
Tarpon action remains hot along the beaches as well as the Skyway Bridge and the 90-foot hole at Egmont. School after school is making their way from both the north and south. Spotting rolling fish and making a stealthy approach for an accurate cast has been the ticket for early morning hook-ups off the beach. Afternoon outgoing tides last weekend produced a good crab flush and the fish staged up at the passes at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Look for there to be plenty of fish in the passes over the next week as we await the full moon where we should see another crab flush.
East winds have made for some pretty good beach snook fishing. Schools of snook can be seen traveling the swash channel. Sight cast to these fish with live shrimp and a variety of both hard and soft plastic lures. Super clean water calls for a stealthy approach and the use of a long light leader.
Kingfish would normally have started to thin out by now, but given the timing of the baitfish migration, they are very much still here. A lot of small- to medium-sized fish can be caught from three to 10 miles offshore. Troll spoons behind planers in areas that you are seeing schools of bait. Live baiters can toss handfuls of live pilchards out behind the boat to get the action fired up.
Mangrove snapper fishing has been excellent recently. Ledges and artificial reefs in 30 feet of water and deeper are holding schools of mangrove snapper that have been easy to chum up to the surface. Using a combination of a frozen chum block and fresh threadfins or pilchards snipped with scissors right off the back of the boat, these fish will often rise right up to the surface where they can be fooled with light leaders and small hooks on your medium-sized spinning tackle.
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