Fishing Report from For Shore Fishing.
June 23, 2018
By Michael Wilson / Ledger correspondent
Mangrove Snapper — The summer time mangrove snapper bite has turned on for Tampa Bay area anglers. Good reports are coming in from all over the bay area and locations elsewhere.
Strike Zone, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elsewhere
1: At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, Spanish mackerel are biting good in the morning with some real nice keepers coming in. Trout are biting during the day and during the evening. The overnight snook bite last weekend was very good. 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 lane snapper bite is really good and there’s lots of Spanish mackerel as well. The hogfish bite has slowed with the clearer water. Deeper offshore, the red snapper bite is good as close in as 100 foot, but the big are past 140 foot along with big mangrove snapper. The big gag grouper are biting past the 180 foot mark, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).
3: At John’s Pass, the mangrove snapper are thick inside the pass and the snook bite is excellent as well. There’s some sheepshead and black drum as well. Snook and whiting are on the beach and the pompano bite is good from the jetty on Doc’s Jigs, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).
4: At Fort DeSoto Park, “The mangrove snapper bite is on fire. The bridges, docks, and any structure in the area are holding them,” reports Capt. Claude Hinson, of the Bait Bucket (727-864-2108). There’s still some grouper at the bridge on big pinfish. Slot sized redfish are being caught on the flats around Tarpon Key. Snook and whiting are on the beaches and Spanish mackerel are thick out at the pier, reports Hinson.
5: Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, “Mangrove snapper are all over the Skyway Bridge and any structure in the bay you can find. We’re catching nice fish up to 19 inches,” reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters. (941-705-3160). Lots of gag grouper and keepers, being caught on the edge of the shipping channel. Spanish mackerel are thick in the bay and on the edges of the channel. Snook are thick out front of all the estuaries. Terra Ceia, Rattlesnake Key, and Emerson Point are all good, reports Crawford.
6: At Anna Maria, both tarpon and snook are running the beach and they’re also in the passes. Snook are also on the edges of the flats inside the passes. Mangrove snapper are showing up around Longboat Pass, the Cortez Bridge, the near shore reefs, and any structure in the bay. Kingfish and Spanish mackerel are off the beach. Look for tripletail and cobia on the flats and markers in the bay along with some Spanish mackerel, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters. (941-705-3160).
7: At St. Petersburg, “We’re getting limits of nice mangrove snapper every day at the bridges. The first hour of a tide change is best,” reports Capt. Chuck Rogers of Finsanity Charters of Tampa (813-918-8356). There’s nice trout off the deeper edges of the flats off Weedon Island. Also, big Spanish mackerel on the deeper flats south of MacDill, reports Rogers.
8: In the north end of Tampa Bay, mangrove snapper are thick at the bridges and any structure in the upper bay. The snook, redfish, and trout bite is good around all the creeks above the Courtney Campbell Causeway. Lots of trout and Spanish mackerel on the deeper edges of the flats and some cobia mixed in with them, reports Capt. Jake Whitfield of Florida Outdoor Adventures (813-997-5980).
– At Sebastian Inlet, permit up to 30lbs and whiting are being caught off the beach and from the jetty. Spanish mackerel are running as well. The mangrove snapper bite has turned on in the inlet. Snook and redfish also biting in the inlet early in the mornings, reports Duncan Frenz at Whitey’s Bait & Tackle (321-724-1440).
– At Fort Pierce, offshore, the bottom bite for vermillion snapper is good in 80 foot. Mangrove and mutton snapper are good closer in at 30-50 foot. Kingfish have been good on the troll, but the mahi are hit and miss. At the inlet, the inshore mangrove snapper are biting good and whiting are on the beach. Two bonefish were caught on the beach south of the jetty on Wednesday. Snook are taking live bait inside at the Taylor Creek spillway, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).
– At Homosassa, the tarpon anglers are getting plenty of shots at laid up fish lined up along the southern boundary of the pole line at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. As the tide comes in, the best travel lanes for moving fish are North West Key and Chassahowitzka Point. The best redfish bite has been south of the Homosassa River on gold spoons on the incoming tide, reports Capt. William Toney of Homosassa Inshore Fishing Charters (352-621-9284).
“May your lines be tight and your shake off’s and break off’s memorable.”