Tampa Fishing Reports

2023 August Tampa Fishing Report

The heat is on. Summer is in full swing and water temps are hovering between 86 and 90 degrees, depending on the day. Both snook and redfish will continue to bite with these elevated temperatures but generally become a bit more sluggish. Getting an early start is critical for two reasons. First, large pilchards are generally available in the dark but can get scarce in a hurry once the sun pops up. Second, being fully loaded with quality bait by 6:15 or 6:30 AM allows for an early start, always a good thing for snook in the heat of summer. 

DOG DAYS SNOOK IN CLEARWATER

Snook have just about completed their spawn.  This means that fewer large fish are generally available, with the majority of fish being seen in the 20 - 30 inch range. Also, traditional snook spots that may have held larger concentrations of fish...in some cases up to 50 fish...are likely now holding significantly fewer. All is not lost however, as most Tampa Clearwater Fishing Charters are still producing from a half dozen to a dozen of these smaller fish. Out on the beach ,fish are very visible in the swash channels on days with calm or east winds. This is good in that groups of fish can be located but bad because these fish tend to be wary. Stay as far away as possible, chum aggressively and be patient. Usually a few fish can be pulled from the groups of fish that are found. On days when the beaches are dirty due to west winds, fishing is better and fish are more careless...but there is no way to sight them so simply fish areas where fish have seen before.

BIG REDS IN THE MANGROVES

Redfishing has been hit or miss now for the last 6-8 weeks.  There are fish out there with some larger fish still being located, although generally not in big numbers. The beauty of a redfish though is that they will eat in warm water and are not picky about what is offered. So if fish can be located, they can be caught. Trips during the heat of summer run on poor tide days can be very challenging so most productive days occur on big tides with some wind. Expect best results from mangrove shorelines where fish can get up under cover and be out of the direct sunlight. Several recent outings produced a half dozen slot and over slot fish so good days can be had. Moving towards fall, local redfishing should improve.

Tarpon sightings on local beaches have all but disappeared over the last couple of weeks so this opportunity may have passed for 2023. The next 6 weeks truly represent the "dog days" of summer, but look for action to increase as September progresses. Moving further on into the fall, near shore opportunities will once again improve and fishing will be ON again.  Good luck and good fishing.

 

 

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