Once summer rolls around, many Tampa Fishing Guides become very focused on two species...snook and redfish. Seatrout, abundant and large in the winter, are smaller and more scattered in the warmer months and of less interest once these other two larger gamefish become a dependable catch. Additionally, both of these fish are caught in beautiful, yet very different environments.  Azure blue water and white sand beaches define a snook's summer habitat, where dense mangrove shorelines are home to redfish.  A charter to target these fish then, offers customers an environmentally diverse day...interesting to local fishermen, even moreso to those from out of town.

Summer Snook Fishing in Tampa Clearwater AreaTampa / Clearwater Fishing Charters targeting snook and redfish usually target snook first. This happens for several reasons.  First, although snook bite best on moving tides, they also bite well during lower light. Second, redfish are generally targeted on the higher phases of the tide and these bigger tides rarely happen first thing in the morning. Patience is certainly the key to snook fishing.  Although there are many instances where a fisherman pulls up on a spot, throws out a bait and hooks a snook, this is not the norm.  Be prepared to present a bait 20 times to the same spot. No one really knows what triggers a snook to bite the 15th time the same bait goes by it, but it's usually how it works.  Even more interesting is the fact that once a fish bites, others around it are more likely to bite. Snook are referred to as smart or crafty but groups of fish will appear downright careless once triggered to feed. A spot yielded no fish for the first 20 minutes will produce multiple hook ups within a five or ten minute span of time. Having multiple bait types on board will also increase the odds of hooking a quality fish. Sometimes, after presenting one bait type repeatedly, a different bait is destroyed on the first cast. So stay patient and mix it up.

Jumbo Redfish in the Mangroves

Redfish have been an extremely consistent catch over the last month on the higher tides.  It would be logical to expect that catching these fish would be easier on a low tide as there is less water to cover but the opposite is true. Redfish look to higher water to get to places where food is concentrated and will continue to re-visit these places through the whole strong tide phase, which typically lasts for about a week.  As a result, Tampa Fishing Guides work very hard, fishing multiple spots, during the early days of these phases to locate fish as catching them for the next 5-6 days after that is a safe bet. Just like anything else in life, working extra hard produces positive outcomes. As summer progresses, redfish will make more of a point of staying in the shadows so brush up on the casting skills (under docks and into the base of the mangroves) as honing this skill will pay big dividends.

Over the last week, it appears that the volume of tarpon has increased off the beaches. The two best local approaches to putting a hook in one would be drifting the passes on moving tides or posting up in their known travel paths and waiting for the fish to come.  Thread fin herring, grass grunts and the most favored bait, pass crabs, would all be considered effective baits.

With summer now here, there are a multitude of activities available in the Tampa / Clearwater Area.  For those wanting a great family option that's mostly indoors, purchase a TampaTrio ticket, which offer discounted admission to The Museum of Science and Industry, Lowry Park Zoo and the Tampa Aquarium. If being outside is of greater interest, try spending a night camping on Anclote Island. Great swimming and fishing are right outside your tent. Good luck and good fishing.



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