Tampa Fishing Reports

2018 July Tampa Fishing Report

It's hot. As a matter of fact, it feels like it's "August hot" already.  Daytime water temperatures in St Joseph's Sound have already been recorded exceeding 90 degrees. When temperatures reach their yearly extremes in our area, both high and low, fishing tends to become a little more challenging. Some of this challenge can be eliminated by fishing early and late, when things are cooler, and many Tampa Fishing Guides do shift their departure times earlier.  If fishing during daylight hours, good fishing is still available however. 

Fantastic Clearwater beach Fishing for Snook

Snook fishing has remained consistent over the last 30 days.  It's just a matter of determining on what part of the tide the fish will bite. Over the last week, fishing the incoming tide in the morning felt like work.  Several hours might produce just a fish or two.  Let that tide start falling out in the early to mid afternoon however, and it was a different fishing experience.  Fish would begin to eat and on several recent Tampa / Clearwater Fishing Charters, the bite was exceptional. It's important to remember that two keys to catching snook are patience and variety. First, don't keep jumping around from spot to spot expecting a bite on the first few casts.  Approach an area quietly and be prepared to work it for a while. Although certain spots will produce immediately, the majority of good snook bites are the result of working an area for 20 -30 minutes, at which point the fish turn on. Second, don't just stick with the same strategy.  Try different baits and present them differently.  Often times, it is when a change is fist made that the strike comes.  Have a small ladyfish that you caught by accident when throwing for whitebait?  Toss it out there after presenting whitebait for 10 minutes.  Boom...there's a fish. Switch to a grunt after throwing whitebait...bang...there's another fish. Current starting to run harder? Add weight to your presentation. Subtle changes can result in the fish that will make your day. On a recent trip, no snook had been caught on the first 6 stops and then 8 larger fish were hooked on maybe a dozen casts on one spot after being there for about 10 minutes. Be patient, make changes, be persistent. Snook fishing should remain strong until the end of the month, at which point the summer spawn will be over and fish will begin to disperse.  Fish will still be available but will be much more scattered so catching multiple fish off one spot will become a more difficult proposition.

Tampa Fishing Charters for Redfish and Snook

With less than spectacular redfishing several weeks ago, the hope of local Tampa Fishing Captains was that the recent strong tides would improve fishing...and this was the case. Each of the last three trips produced a half dozen quality fish...ranging from 22 to 28 inches. Live whitebait, live pinfish and cut bait were all productive. Although redfish are certainly among the most heat tolerant of local species, even these fish will seek relief from the current elevated temperatures. So, like snook, early and late in the day can be good.  Also, high tides that allow fish to get back into shaded areas like mangroves and docks, can produce good fishing conditions as well. Casting becomes a key component in catching summer, structure seeking redfish.  The ability to throw baits into mangrove caves and under overhanging bushes and docks will greatly improve catch rates. Redfish will continue to bite right through the warmest months although fishing is generally a little tougher for the next 6 - 8 weeks.  As waters cool, fishing will pick back up a bit during the fall months.

Big Redfish Big Snook in Tampa
 

After a day of fishing, cool off at one of Tampa's original breweries, Cigar City Brewing.  Tours are available every day except Monday and Tuesday. Or visit Tarpon Springs on the Anclote River, home of local sponge diving. Numerous restaurants and shops make this area a great spot to spend a day.  Good luck and good fishing.

 

 

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