October 12th. Redfish, snook and seatrout are open! The FWC feels that red tide is largely gone and, as a result, the long absent redfish or snook dinner is now available again. The opening is just in time as fall fishing is heating up and Tampa Fishing Captains will be able to pursue just about every species that swims in the next few months. The focus of recent Tampa Fishing Charters has been twofold.  For customers who wanted a fish dinner, mangrove snapper were the target. There seem to be an abundance of snapper this year with very harvestable 14 inch fish even being caught off of inshore jetties and in local passes. A better bet is the near shore reefs however. Any boat well supplied with white bait and lighter tackle should be able to cash in on this snapper bonanza.

Redfishing has remained consistent over the last few weeks on the better tide phases. Interestingly, redfish seemed to clear the area when red tide showed up but the population appears to have re-stabilized.  A typical day will produce a minimum of 6 decent fish and every now and then, when a school is found, a banner day can be mixed in. Fish are eating the usual broad range of baits but bobbered white baits have been very effective recently due to the abundance of smaller bait both inside and outside of the passes. Expect good fishing to remain until the real cold arrives.

Although the big snook of summer have dispersed, there are still snook from the backwaters to the beaches.  The size of both the fish and the groups of fish are smaller however. That said, there are plenty of opportunities to present baits to chummed up fish and watch them eat, providing great entertainment. Grass grunts, a primary snook bait, are still hard to come by. On a recent Tampa Fishing Charter, the 4-5 grunts that were on board all were eaten aggressively though, so if this bait is available, it's worth bringing along. Not to worry if these baits are scarce though as the beaches are now well stocked with bait and securing a live well full shouldn't be difficult. Fish size has ranged from real small to around 32 inches.

Some Tampa Fishing Captains take a busman's holiday during August and early September to go appreciate fishing in other parts of the country. Although fish can certainly be caught straight through the summer in West Central Florida, it's hot and business generally slows a little bit. Below are a few photos.

With cooling temperatures on the way, it's time to consider some local outdoor activities for the family. Empower Adventures offers zip lining in Oldsmar, Florida. Another entertaining adventure is to go fish for Australian Barramundi at Osceola Outback Adventures in St Cloud, Florida. Good luck and good fishing.





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