Although Isaac wasn’t all that bad, we are still in the aftermath stages of a major storm as far as fishing is concerned.
Huge swells and a stout south wind really muddied the near-shore waters; all that dirty water has been making its way inside the passes on the incoming tide. The key to success this past week was to get away from all that dirty water and to capitalize on the extra water brought in by the south wind.
Redfish numbers are increasing after each big moon phase. More and more reds can be targeted on the shallow grass flats throughout the county. Last week’s mid-morning incoming tides had the schools of redfish hanging near mangrove shoreline points as they awaited the flood stage of the tide that will allow them to push way back into the mangrove root system, where they could 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 Memorial Causeway and the adjacent spoil islands on the lower tidal stages.
Late summer offers us the opportunity to target fish that can often be larger than the angler pursuing them. Big sharks and tarpon are a big part of what Florida fishing is all about, whether you’re fishing day or night these bruisers can often be found roaming the same waters.
Deep backwater holes along the Intracoastal Waterway as well as many spots inside of Tampa Bay are holding some nice tarpon and plenty of bull sharks.
Large cut baits such as mullet or mackerel fished on the bottom will attract both species.
Look for the tarpon to be rolling whenever the wind goes slack; don’t chase the fish around too much, just set out baits where you’ve seen a couple of fish roll and wait for the bite.
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.