A full moon this week will bring some big tides and some good opportunities both inshore and offshore.
While offshore anglers should focus their efforts on what should be a banner mangrove snapper bite, inshore anglers should have plenty of options from redfish and snook to trout and Spanish mackerel.
Mangrove snapper fishing has been really good this summer. Keeper mangroves can be found on deep docks, bridges, jetties and offshore structures. On these full moon stages thereís no question that the snapper feed best at night. Artificial reefs from 20 to 50 feet of water are loaded with snapper and with a good forecast on the horizon, this would be a great opportunity to plan a night trip.
Redfish numbers are increasing after each big moon phase. More and more reds can be targeted on the shallow grass flats throughout the county. This weekís morning incoming tides have had the schools of redfish hanging near mangrove shoreline points as they await the flood stage of the tide that will allow them to push way back into the mangrove root system, where they can feed as well as cool off. Approach each point with ease and caution. Redfish will often give you some sort of sign. Usually it will be a flash or a noticeable push of water. Work the schools with gold spoons and soft plastic jigs on an 8 ounce head. Good places to target would be the no-motor-zone flats north of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway and the adjacent spoil islands on the lower tidal stages.
Snook are on the mind of many anglers right now, with the season reopening next month after being closed for the past couple of years.
No snook angler will argue that the fishing is better now than post freeze of 2010. However, legal sized snook are few and far between.
Most of the fish that have been catch-and-release fishing for this summer would have all been too big to keep. Thatís not to say itís impossible, because that 27 to 32 inch fish is out there, but percentage wise the odds are pretty low.
Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at email@example.com. 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.