Summer is snook season and many Tampa Fishing Guides will target this fish almost exclusively. As the best bite in Northern Pinellas County generally lasts from late April to the end of July, the opportunity to target these great gamefish each year is relatively short. Fishing has recovered well since the deadly freeze of 2010. Most Tampa Fishing Charters over the last month have resulted in catches ranging from half dozen the 25 snook. Although many of these fish may be smaller male fish from 23 - 27 inches, the average charter typically yields several quality fish from 30 - 37 inches, with fish in the 38 - 40 inch range always a possibility. Baits are generally presented in a free-lined fashion with no weight, unless a strong current is present. Large whitebait and grass grunts are the "mainstay" baits, but having other, less common baits such as shad or a stray ladyfish never hurts. Although population is healthy, most fish in the area receive a lot of pressure and, often times, presenting a less "standard" bait will produce immediate results.
Snook are definitely short interval feeders in most situations. What this means is that fish will not eat for significant periods of time and then will turn on and feed aggressively for short bursts. Many anglers believe that snook are very elusive, smart and challenging to catch but hit this "interval", and the bite can be downright easy. Tampa Fishing Guides know that finding this easy bite is often the result of fishing many spots and working each one hard, but the result is well worth it.
Snook are fairly unique fish as well. They are hermaphroditic fish, meaning that they have the ability to change sex. All snook start out as males but some turn to females. This change is believed to occur at between 18 and 22 inches. The fish everyone wants to catch are females as these fish generally go on to become much larger. Speaking of size, the largest common snook ever caught in Florida was caught near Fort Myers and weighed 44 pounds, 3 ounces. The largest common snook in the world come from Central America. Costa Rica holds the world record with a 53 lbs, 10 ounce fish. In 2014, the largest snook ever, a black snook, caught on the pacific side of Costa Rica, topped the scales at 59 pounds, 8 ounces. Th generally accepted range of the snook is from North Carolina to Brazil although these fish are not common north of Florida. The life span of a snook is believed to be between 15 and 20 years...for those lucky enough to die of old age. Permits are required for the harvest of snook but, on the bright side, every dollar received from snook permits goes towards the study of this fish.
Tampa Fishing for redfish slowed a bit as the month of June progressed. Water temperatures have already reached typical August temperatures of the high eighties. Although groups of redfish can move into St Joseph's Spund at any time, a big influx isn't likely until later in the year. With that said, fish are still available to those willing to put in the time as isolated pockets of fish do remain. Fishing lower light periods on days with strong tides will produce the best results. Most cut and live baits will trigger a bite.
If you're looking for an alternate source of outdoor entertainment, a great game of golf is awaiting you at Innnisbrook Golf Resort. Play the famous Copperhead Course, home of the Valspar Tournament each March. For evening entertainment, check out the Straz Center for The Performing Arts. The Wizard of Oz Musical we be playing from July 12th through 17th.
Good luck and Good Fishing.