Fishing over the last month has turned the corner from good to very good.  The large snook populating the beaches seem more willing to eat now that water temperatures have stabilized above 80 degrees for the summer. Fishing had been inconsistent for these larger fish during much of May but, with June now here, catching  a large fish or two on a given Tampa Fishing Charter seems to be happening more consistently. There seem to be three keys to catching these quality fish on a consistent basis. First, be patient.  Seeing a group of large snook and catching one or two of them, as all snook fisherman know, are very different matters. Certainly, fish can be hooked on the first cast when arriving on a spot, but expect to have to put in some time. Second, presentation is often key.  Free lined baits are generally best presented on a slack line so the they can move naturally.  Having said this, snook will often rise up, eat a bait and sink back down, giving only a slight indication that the bait has been eaten.  For anglers allowing too much slack in their lines, these subtle bites may go undetected. Like a human after eating a big dinner, the snook has no interest in racing off at high speed.  It would prefer to drift down to the bottom and enjoy its meal.  It is only when the hook is felt that these fish explosively come to being able to present a bait naturally with the least amount of line between rod tip and bait is a key to snook fishing. Third, be prepared with a wide variety of baits. It is quite common for multiple casts to be made to a group of fish with no success.  Yet, a change from a large whitebait to a grunt may elicit an immediate strike from this same group of fish. Sometimes it's the third or fourth bait change that does it. 

Big Snook on Clearater Beach

Tides just keep getting better and better this time of year meaning that there is more time each day to chase redfish.  These fish are caught on the vast majority of charters and are the life blood of many Inshore Tampa Fishing Captains. They are strong, aggressive eating fish and are spread throughout many environments. Additionally, with the "red tide" closure that has now been extended until June of 2020, these fast growing fish will logically be even more abundant and, with a little luck, be of average larger size. Several fish around thirty inches were landed over the last week, with many more in the 25 - 28 inch range.  There is no reason this fishing shouldn't remain hot in the near term.  Small to medium pinfish, whitebait and cut baits have all been productive baits.

Caledesi Island Redfish

Seatrout have made their official move to the beaches and fishing has remained excellent.  The spring beach fishery can be hit or miss in some years but it has been nothing short of very dependable this year. It's been productive enough that a stop to target trout has been a part of the regular agenda on most Tampa Fishing Charters.  Putting a quick dozen 16 - 22 inch trout in the boat is a nice way to start a trip and a good warm up for the larger redfish and snook. Whitebait has been the bait of choice but small pinfish will get the job done as well.

Tarpon have been around for several months now but have been a bit inconsistent, partly due to the many windy days in May.  Over the last few days however, increased numbers of fish are being seen. An extra heavy, fast action 8 foot spinning rod, loaded with 65 pound test will handle these fish effectively.  Five to six feet of 60 - 80 lbs test flourocarbon tipped with a 5/0 - 6/0 hook will work for most baits.  As with snook, it never hurts to have a variety, which might include threadfin herring, grunts, pinfish and pass crabs.

With many public entertainment venues either closed or still restricted, outdoor activities remain one of the best options for getting out of the house. For those who enjoy mountain biking, there are a variety of trails surrounding the Tampa Bay Area. Also, rather than waiting for the next big vacation to go zip lining, visit Empower Adventures in Oldsmar, Florida. There are over 3000 feet of ziplines here. Reservations are required.  Good luck and good fishing. 




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