Fishing Report from For Shore Fishing.
June 13, 2018
By Michael Wilson / Ledger correspondent
Mangrove Snapper — The seasonal mangrove snapper bite has really turned on for Tampa Bay area anglers. Good reports of snapper are coming from both inshore and offshore locations around the bay as well points elsewhere.
Strike Zone, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elsewhere
1: At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, Spanish mackerel are biting good in the mornings. The mangrove snapper are really starting to bite and there’s some trout and snook also being caught. The pier is now open 24 hours a day from 6 a.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Sunday; and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462- 6466).
2: At Madeira Beach, near shore, the water is very clear and the mackerel are plentiful. Mangrove snapper are biting good and easily chummed up to the surface. They are very leader shy though because of the clear water. Deeper offshore, the red snapper and mangrove snapper are biting good. The gag and red grouper bite is also especially good for this time of year, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).
3: At John’s Pass, the water inside the pass is super clear and there are lots of sheepshead cruising the seawalls along with plentiful snook and mangrove snapper. Some cobia have been spotted on the beaches along with pompano and whiting being caught from the jetty. “Tarpon are pretty thick in Blind Pass and along the beach. We’re starting to see them in John’s Pass early in the mornings. The hill tides are flushing crabs and they’re feeding well,” reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).
4: At Fort DeSoto Park, the mangrove snapper have moved in good and they’re being caught at the bridges and the area docks on the outgoing tides. Big trout are hitting around the area docks as well. Lots of pass crabs are flushing on the outgoing tides and the tarpon bite is good at the bridge. Cobia and grouper are also biting at the bridge along with some flounder. Snook, trout, and small redfish are biting good on the mangrove flats. There’s also a good flounder bite in the sand holes and sandy edges of the flats. Tons of Spanish mackerel are out at the piers. Gotcha Plugs, silver spoons, and live shrimp under a cork, will all get the bite, reports Capt. Claude Hinson of the Bait Bucket (727-864-2108).
5: Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, mangrove snapper have moved in thick around the Sunshine Skyway and the area rock piles. Lots of big sheepshead are still around too. Spanish Mackerel are in the bay. Snook are around the mouths of all the estuaries. Trout are biting good in thick grass in 4-10 foot. Tarpon are preferring pass crabs, but will take a live baitfish, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters. (941-705-3160).
6: At Anna Maria, there’s lots of snook out on the beaches down to New Pass. But, south of New Pass there’s red tide. Bean Point has plenty of tarpon. The bite is best early in the morning on crabs, then later on threadfins while chumming. There’s plenty of Spanish mackerel around the bay and the mangrove snapper are starting to show up, reports Capt. Scott Moore of Bradenton (941-713-1921).
Snook are on the beach, in the passes, and the adjacent flats inside the passes. The rock piles inside Longboat Pass and the bridge are starting to hold mangrove snapper. Trout are in the deeper grass on the flats around Longboat Pass and also off Bean Point. Look for tripletail on any of the buoys, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters. (941-705-3160).
7: At St. Petersburg, mangrove snapper are biting good around the bridges and structure in the area. “The trout bite is great on the incoming tide on the edges of the flats in the four to five foot depths. One day this week, we had 60 plus trout in three hours. There’s lots of bluefish and big Spanish mackerel mixed in, so use live baits with long shank hooks,” reports Capt. Chuck Rogers of Finsanity Charters of Tampa (813-918-8356). There’s still lots of cobia and mackerel on the markers in the bay on the St. Pete side and some pompano at the Gandy Bridge on the outgoing tide, Rogers said.
8: In the north end of Tampa Bay, mangrove snapper have moved in good around the bridges, docks and rock piles with good moving water. Cobia are still thick on the flats. Look for the manatees and rays, there’s an opportunity to pitch a bait at a cobia every trip. Snook are spawning and in all their usual spots for this time of year. Spanish mackerel are up in the bay and mixed in with trout on the deeper flats. Migratory tarpon are starting to move in around the bridges and the edge of the shipping channel, reports Capt. Jake Whitfield of Florida Outdoor Adventures (813-997-5980).
– At Boca Grande, “We fished the bay earlier in the week and caught a bunch of mangrove snapper and trout, along with one pompano. The red tide cleared up and on Wednesday we went four for eight on the tarpon. The crabs were flushing out and the bite was best early to mid-morning. Most of our hook-ups were on the beach up by the pass. The tarpon are in the pass, up in the harbor, on the beach, and some are offshore. The next few days over the weekend should be good tarpon fishing,” reports Capt. Greg Penix of Lakeland (863-860-2502).
– At Fort Pierce, offshore, the troll bite for mahi is hit or miss. There’s anywhere from few fish a trip, to up to 20. There’s also some kingfish in 50-80 foot. The bottom bite is good for mangrove snapper up to nine pounds, with some lane and muttons mixed in. Near shore, snook and jacks are feeding on small baitfish off the south jetty. Around the inlet and the bridges, summer mangrove snapper have moved in. There’s also some sheepshead and black margate being caught in the inlet. Inside the river, some redfish are being caught on the area docks and there’s still a good trout bite on the flats with good grass up north by Vero Beach, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).
– On the Space Coast, the early morning and night time snook bite has been very good around bridge fenders, inside the port, and lighted docks. Live shrimp, small live pinfish, and scented jerk baits have been the best baits. Most of the snook have measured just under the minimum legal slot size limit of 28-32 inches, with a few fish in the slot, reports Capt. Keith Mixon of Mixin’ Work With Play Fishing Charters. (321-212-8484).
“May your lines be tight and your shake off’s and break off’s memorable.”