The late season cold front that came through last weekend brought the overnight temperatures down into the 50s for a few days. The front has brought our water temperatures down into the low 70s. The fishing has no doubt been off the past little bit due to the weather but in the long run this shot of cool air will really help to prolong some of the great fishing we’ve been having this spring.
Kingfish and Spanish mackerel continue to be the big story on the fishing scene. However, the 6 to 8 foot seas that accompanied last weekend’s cold front definitely dirtied the water and scattered the bait stocks. Expect the artificial reefs, 40 to 50 feet, to rebound quick and be covered in kingfish by the weekend. Slow trolling live bait or speed trolling hardware are both good options right now. Spanish mackerel are abundant over near-shore hard bottom areas near blinds pass and Sand Key. Anglers trolling small spoons behind a Number 1 Planer have done the best.
Inshore, redfish will be schooling up on the flats with the upcoming new moon. Fishing had been good for schooling reds up until the full moon, which is typical. As we get further away from the full moon, the reds should return to the flats where they will be mixed in with the mullet schools. Live silver dollar sized pinfish have been the ticket for the redfish lately.
Snook fishing has been red hot before these fronts then ice cold for a couple of days following the front. With no real weather set to come in and break up this warming trend expect the snook bite to be good by this weekend. Live pilchards pitched up along the mangroves have produced double digit snook trips recently in Tampa Bay. The majority of the fish have been in the 24- to 28-inch class, which are perfect for medium-sized spinning gear.