Fishing Report from For Shore Fishing.
May 25, 2018
By Michael Wilson / Ledger correspondent
Snook — The catch and release snook bite is excellent right now for Tampa Bay area anglers. Many fish are still pre-spawn and feeding aggressively from the flats out to the beaches.
Strike Zone, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elsewhere
1: At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, good numbers of keeper size Spanish mackerel are being caught in the mornings. There’s also lots of jack crevalle. A few black sea bass have been caught during the day. Keeper size trout being caught at night up until closing time, reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462- 646
2: At Madeira Beach, the hogfish bite has picked back up. Kingfish and Spanish mackerel are still chasing the near shore bait schools around the artificial reefs. The bigger fish are deeper and more spread out though. Black sea bass, lane snapper, vermilion snapper, and porgies are biting good on the bottom, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).
3: At John’s Pass, the snook bite has been great inside Johns Pass at the end of the outgoing tide at night. There’s also been plenty of fish caught during the day. The mangrove snapper bite is also good in the pass. Lots of big black drum being caught on crabs on the north side of the bridge. There’s a good whiting bite out on the beaches, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).
4: At Fort DeSoto Park, the snook bite is still on fire. They’re out on the beaches, in the passes, and along the mangroves. Pompano are biting good at the bridge on Doc’s Goofy Jigs. Mangrove snapper up to 14 inches are also good at the bridge along with big sheepshead on shrimp on the outgoing tides. Big trout are taking live shrimp and plugs on the area grass flats. Lower slot size redfish are also biting on the area flats. Plenty of Spanish mackerel along with pompano out at the piers, reports Capt. Claude Hinson of the Bait Bucket (727-864-2108).
5: Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, the east shoreline between Terra Ceia Bay and Miquel Bay is loaded with snook on the high tides. There’s also a few redfish in the same areas. Keep an eye out and a rod ready for cobia, they are all over the flats. Big trout are on deeper grass flats from Emerson Point to Miquel Bay. There’s lots of big Spanish mackerel in the bay inside the Skyway, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters. (941-705-3160).
6: At Anna Maria, there’s lots of snook on the beaches both at Anna Maria and Longboat Key. Any area with structure or the deeper beach troughs are holding them. They’re also in the passes, the flats surrounding the passes, and flats in the middle of the bay. Tripletail are all over the markers and buoys. The redfish bite is still good on pinfish up under the mangroves on high tide, reports Crawford.
7: At St. Petersburg, cobia are the big thing this week around the Gandy Bridge and the channel markers in the bay. There’s also tarpon in the 80-100lb class at the bridge. Big trout are on the flats in depths of five to six feet, feeding on live bait. There’s good trout and lots of snook around Weedon Island, reports Capt. Chuck Rogers of Finsanity Charters of Tampa (813-918-8356).
8: In the north end of Tampa Bay, snook are showing up in all their usual spawning spots in the upper bay. Any area that simulates a beach with sandy bottom and good flowing water is where they’ll be. Trout are mixed in with the bait schools on the flats in five to six feet of water. There’s also lots of big Spanish mackerel up in the bay. There’s also lots of cobia around, reports Capt. Jake Whitfield Florida Outdoor Adventures (813-997-5980).
– At Boca Grande, “We whacked the tarpon pretty good the last few days. On Monday we leadered a couple of fish, Tuesday we went four for six, and on Wednesday we went four for five. Then on Thursday we had a goose egg. We were on fish all day, but we couldn’t get them to bite. The tarpon are all over the pass and on the beach now too,” reports Capt. Greg Penix of Lakeland (863-860-2502).
– At Sebastian Inlet, offshore there’s been a steady bite for mahi up to 40lbs, but most are in the 15-20lb range. The bottom bite for gag grouper and snapper is good too. In the inlet, there’s been a good snook run on mojarra the last couple of weeks. There’s also some tarpon up to 80lbs. Pompano and whiting are biting good on the beaches, reports Whitey’s Bait & Tackle (321-724-1440).
– At Fort Pierce, offshore the bottom bite is still good for mutton, mangrove, and lane snapper. A few mahi up to 20lbs on the troll in 60-80 foot. At the inlet, some snook and mangrove snapper are being caught. On the inside, the spillways in the river are producing big snook and area docks are producing some redfish. To the north up by Vero Beach, there’s a good trout bite at Round Island and The Moorings, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).
“May your lines be tight and your shake off’s and break off’s memorable.”