Tampa Bay Florida Fishing ReportsJune 2012 Fishing
This June continues to provide great Tarpon fishing in the Clearwater and St. Petersburg, FL area. The
Tarpon have arrived in great numbers and have been around since April. We are targeting these large fish
along the beaches and bridges of Tampa Bay using large Scaled Sardines and Threadfins for bait. Small Blue
or Pass Crabs also work well.
My good friends, Mike and Chick, from Virginia had great success
this June at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. They boated their largest Tarpon to date, estimated at 170 –
180 lbs. This large female fish ate a Threadfin near the slack tide stage. A couple
Bottlenose Dolphin were pestering us just prior to the Tarpon biting. For a few years now the Dolphin have
learned to grab our baits and slowly pull the fish from the hook. The Skyway Bridge is the only place I
have seen this behavior from Dolphin.
Several nice Gag Grouper were landed and released while fishing
for Tarpon at the bridge. At the time I was wishing it was July so we could take home a few Grouper fillets.
Cobia and large Spanish Mackerel were also a by-catch while Tarpon fishing.
I have several repeat clients coming to town just to fish for these powerful fish. If you see a
group of boats Tarpon fishing along the beaches please cruise by slowly keeping a good distance away. You
should approach others fishing, drifting with the wind using your trolling motor or push pole. If you are
approached by another boat fighting a large Tarpon cheer them on with hoots and thumbs-up as it could be a fish of a lifetime.
February 27, 2011 Spotted Sea Trout remains my main target
fish throughout February. The shallow grass flats from Clearwater north to Tarpon Springs have been abundant
with Speckled Trout this month. My favorite artificial bait has been the Mister Twister Exude Dart or Gulp’s
three inch shrimp on 1/8th. oz. Mission jigs. Although trout love live shrimp, you can out fish someone using shrimp
with one of these jigs. You can cover more water and find more fish fan casting as you slowly drift the near shore flats.
Speckled Trout is my favorite inshore fish to take home for a fish fry.
Next month I will be turning my attention
back to Redfish. The deeper residential docks with oysters and shells underneath will be a gathering place for larger fish.
I have done entire fishing trips around a few docks in the Clearwater area.
The Scaled Sardines will also be
showing up inshore in March. It’s been several months since I’ve thrown the net and I am ready to get started.
See you on the water.
Oct. 15, 2010 was a great day for fishing the shallow waters of Clearwater
FL. Bait was plentiful on the grass flats just inside of the barrier islands passes. I
was targeting Redfish on the edges of the flats in 1 to 2 feet of water. The fish were not schooled up
but scattered about the edge waiting for the incoming water. All three anglers today caught Redfish: the
largest at 29 inches. Mike, from Tampa, got the Inshore Slam consisting of a large Snook, Redfish and several
Speckled Trout. With the lower water temps. the Snook have been migrating further inshore away from the beaches. A
few Spanish Mackerel were also mixed in with today’s catch. This month and through November should
bring excellent catches of these fast swimmers.
May 2010 was a great month for fishing in the Tampa Bay area! Tarpon,
Redfish, Spotted Trout, Spanish Mackerel and Grouper were biting well through-out the month. Mackerel and
Grouper were nice by-catches while fishing for Tarpon around the bridges of the bay. A large Cobia was
also caught this month by my good friend, Art, while visiting from California.
feeding mostly on Threadfin Hearing and Pass Crabs, drifting with the current, near the bridge structure. The
strong tides during the new moon phase had the best bite for Tarpon. When the current slacked up a bit,
the Grouper came up to feed. Pulling the Grouper off the bottom and out of their rocky holes was a bit
of a challenge when using spinning gear. Therefore, give the fish a little slack line, within a few minutes
the fish will swim out of the rocks and the fight will resume. Sharks were also out in abundance on the
shallow flats. If you would enjoy catching sharks and watching them take your bait near the boat, reserve
a fishing trip this summer.
July 18, 2010 Spotted Sea Trout remains a decent catch throughout June and July with several large fish
being landed. Miss Lydia, visiting with her father, from Alabama caught a nice 25 inch fish using a Scaled
Sardine for bait. Lydia also had a blast catching several Black-Tip sharks. While several
sharks were swimming around the boat, she would just lower her sardine to the nearest one and the fight would begin.
Many Tarpon were seen on this fishing trip in a deep cut near the Islands of Tampa Bay. We had a
few bites but no solid Tarpon hook-ups on this trip.
Shark fishing should be excellent all summer long.
Late afternoon trips ending around 9 or 10pm can be scheduled in order to avoid the heat of the day. Rock
piles along the beaches will hold Redfish, Black Drum and Flounder through-out August and September.