Currently, as we hang on the verge of summer doldrums and potentially fantastic fall fishing, we see the signs of change. Bait fish stocks are on the rise. Bait fish of all types and sizes are blanketing our coastal waters attracting the attention of all kinds of predatory fish. It won’t take much of a weather change for the fishing to really catch fire.
Inshore fishing is picking up. Redfish are showing up at typical fall spots. Look for those flats that are directly adjacent to deeper water to be the most reliable. They don’t call them channel bass for no reason. Redfish, especially fall reds, seem to school in deeper water and can often be found by the mud they create as they scour the bottom. Look for muds, tern activity and the presence of jack crevalle to give away the location of the redfish.
Near shore, Spanish mackerel are becoming more and more of a mainstay. The Skyway and DeSoto fishing piers have been outstanding for mackerel. Use silver spoons behind a small trolling sinker first thing in the morning.
While gag grouper seem to be a bit off right now, mangrove snapper fishing remains red hot. Ledges and artificial reefs from 30 to 50 feet are loaded with snapper and fishing has been good during the day and excellent at night. Heavy chumming with fresh cut pilchards will entice the snapper to come off the bottom both day and night.
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.