Tampa Fishing Reports
April 2014TampaFishing Report
Spring fishing is here. Kingfish arrived a few weeks late due to lingering cold fronts but appear to be here in good numbers as of the beginning of April. Although fish had been caught mid to late March out a little deeper, kings are now within range of the near shore fisherman. Most Tampa Fishing Charters have been targeting hard bottom areas in 20 - 30 feet. Extra large whitebaits have been the bait of choice, although small mackerel, blue runners and mullet would all likely elicit strikes. These kings are usually preceded by schools of spanish mackerel which, at least for the last few days, have not been present. The two most effectice approaches to hooking up a kingfish are slow trolling or anchoring over hard bottom, dropping a chum bag and then liberally chumming the area with whitebait. The latter can provide great entertainment as a variety of species may come into the slick. The only down side is that one of these predators is the spinner shark. If enough of these show up, it can ruin the party as many fish, including most kingfish, are consumed before they get to the boat. On a positive note however, the spinner shark is among the most acrobatic of sharks and will often jump repeatedly when hooked so, for those interested in pulling on something bigger, these spinners can provide good sport. Most Tampa Fishing Guides will bring a conventional rod spooled with 40 lbs test and a 150 lbs, 6 foot steel leader to manage these sharks in case a customer is interested in doing battle with them.
Inshore fishing gets better each week and the species selection continues to expand here as well. On the last tide phase, the redfish bite showed definite signs of improvement and all fish caught were top of the slot or over. Several large schools are currently working the area. Bobbered or split shotted pinfish seem to be the baits of choice. Patterning these schools becomes the key to catching decent numbers of redfish. At different phases of the tide, fish will hold in certain areas. Entering these areas too early can spook the fish and prevent them from arriving....too late and they may be gone. Most Tampa Fishing Guides, once patterning these fish, will have a set itinerary of where they are going when so as to maximize fish catching potential.
Tampa Fishing for seatrout remains fantastic with more big fish being landed than in any year in recent memeory. What is most amazing is that so many of these fish are being harvested each day and yet, limits continue to be caught. Free lined whitebait remains the bait of choice but, with some unstable weather in the area over the last month, there were days when securing bait was difficult. Quality fish were still caught using smaller pinfish and select shrimp. Some of the absolutely largest fish were caught on medium sized pinfish that had been presented to redfish. So, for those who are unable to secure whitebait, there is still plenty of opportunity to put a few gators on the deck. Trout will almost always bite best on moving tides so plan your fishing accordingly.
As happens every spring, snook make their way out of the backwaters and in from offshore to populate our passes and beaches. Tampa Fishing Charters will begin to actively target snook in the coming month as fish should now be gathering in catchable numbers. May thru late July is generally regarded as prime time but, once temperatures clear the seventy degree mark and hold above that, snook are on the agenda. Large whitebait and grass grunts are generally regarded as top choices on a snook's menu. Free lining these baits in to areas where fish are spotted is the best approach. Remember that snook are sporadic feeders....that is to say that they will click on for short periods of time and eat and then shut off again just that fast. Tampa Fishing Guides make it a point to notice the exact time and tide phase on which they get their bites as the same group of fish is likely to bite on that same tide phase the next day.
So, as is usally the case in April, the question isn't whether to go fishing....it's what to fish for. Good luck and good fishing.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 08 April 2014 09:21)
- March 2014 Tampa Fishing Report
- February 2014 Tampa Fishing Report
- January 2014 Tampa Fishing Report
- December 2013 Tampa Fishing Report
- November 2013 Tampa Fishing Report
- October 2013 Tampa Fishing Report
- September 2013 Tampa Fishing Report
- August 2013 Tampa Fishing Report
- July 2013 Tampa Fishing Report
- June 2013 Tampa Fishing Report
- May 2013 Tampa Fishing Report