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Tampa Fishing Report

tampa fishing redfish

Tampa Flats redfish

Fishing Tampa Bay has been unbelievable lately. We’ve been fishing mullet schools with live and cut bait for redfish in lower Tampa Bay having good success on the higher tides. Snook have been on the flats near the structures and potholes eating scaled sardines, large threadfins, and pinfish. King mackerel have been on the beaches when the wind is cooperative out of the east and the water clarity is good.

Tampa fishing redfish

Redfish for dinner

Anchoring up over hard bottom areas and putting out a spread of live baits on the surface and some live and dead bait on knocker rigs has produced kings, Spanish, bonita, key west grunt, red grouper, gag grouper, flounder, mangrove snapper, and more. Speaking of beach fishing, the flounder bite this year off the beaches has been stellar. Many of the flounder have been really nice sized compared to the usual size we see here. My Spanish mackerel fishing has mostly been inside the bay so far because of the number of fish hanging near the schools of threadfins. I’m pretty much using live bait on the good tides and cut strips of bait on the slower tides.

Tampa fishing redfish

Redfish

We’ve been hitting the plus sized seatrout in the real skinny water on live bait, cut bait, and artificials and the smaller fish have been more plentiful in the 3-6 ft. grass flat areas eating the same things. Those deeper grass areas are also holding nice bluefish, ladyfish, jacks and more to bend the rod. We’ve been catching plenty of cobia so far but most have been on the small side with not many bigger ones yet. The tarpon are in their normal hangouts and have little traffic compared to May/June so now is the perfect time to target the silver king. The sharks are also making an appearance inside the bay on the flats, the edge of the shipping channel and near the passes which make for an exciting battle on light tackle.

Tight lines!

Capt. Chris