42″ Mega Snook in the Canal

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Recent inshore fishing reports from the West Central region.


42″ Mega Snook in the Canal

Florida Sportsman member: harrisa2006

Snook in the Canal

She put up one incredible fight. I knew this was going to be a good fish, but when she partially surfaced and I saw her tail, I could not believe me eyes. My arms began to shake, I was completely flabbergasted. I have caught big snook before, but this snook was so big, that it did not even look like a snook anymore. It looked like a living dinosaur.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Anna Maria Island: Friends and Firsts

Florida Sportsman member: sas0061

Anna Maria Island

I set out three lines; one popping bobber with a 12″ leader and live shrimp and two freelined pilchards with 4′ leaders. After 30 minutes, the line started tearing out of one of the pilchard setups. I handed the rod to a friend who had never been inshore saltwater fishing before. She ended up landing her first trout and it was a big one!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Anna Maria Island Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: sas0061

Anna Maria Island Fishing

We decided to hit some more oyster beds and mangroves. We freelined two pilchards out the front, one pilchard with the popping bobber out the back, and I threw a doa until it was time to check lines. About 45 minutes in, one of the freelined greenies was hit. As soon as I started to reel in, I saw the jump. It was a snook! Just after releasing it, a second fish struck the remaining freelined pilchard. In five minutes, we landed two nice snook.

Click here for full forum report.

 


Fat Trout, Reclusive Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Matt822

Fat Trout

The big trout have really made a push on to the flats with fish average being over 20 inches. The Redfish seem to be a bit more elusive but I’ve still managed to get some ones and twos here and there. Haven’t been able to locate the “big school” everyone wants to see.

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Florida Fall Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: permit_me

Florida Fall Fishing

We fished the St. Joseph Sound/Anclote area for reds. The fish were there and we managed a few each. All nice fish, 24″ and over. We saw a couple sheepshead in about a foot of water threw to them and bam, we both got one. They were 16″ and 19″.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Drift Fishing Tampa Bay: Skyway to Egmont

Florida Sportsman member: Soda Popinski

Drift Fishing Tampa Bay

We drifted a channel marker and my son got a 22″ gag on a pinfish that had very little life left in it. Caught it on 12lb cajun line with a 30lb mono leader, that leader was beat to death by the time we got him to the boat. Water temp was 66.4 degrees. No keepers but still fun to get out on the water, it had been a while. Love fishing the bay, you never know what you might hook.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


St. Pete Late Season Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: stpetebaitman

Late Season Tarpon

The fish have been eating live pinfish very well. The pinfish spawn is about to happen so there are massive schools of them up in the bay. This happens every year and you can find schools of thousands of pinfish on the edges of flats. The tarpon have been pretty cooperative until the tide starts to really rip.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Battle In The Bay Win

Florida Sportsman member: SouthshoreSlayer

Battle in the bay

Due to red tide in my area I fish this time of year, I decided to run to a new area I have never fished. Well the gamble ended up paying off, as by 10 AM we had two reds at 26 7/8″ each and a 23″ trout. Our weight came out to 18.05lbs to win us first out of 60 boats. We took home a check for $2,000.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


St. Pete Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: stpetebaitman

st. pete tarpon

While looking for cobia, I came across a spot that I have never seen tarpon before. As I began to inspect the spot more, I found that tarpon were traveling in a particular zone and in a certain depth. They appeared to be using this spot as a highway.

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Ditch Trolling for Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: swordawet

I tweaked my ditch trolling technique with some new and valuable information. I sent the gear down at the early crack of 10am and by 10:15 I was tight with a nice 27″ gag. A quick selfie and into the ice bath he went.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Skyway Channel Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: winderbill

I only caught four fish, but they were ALL keepers, 25″, 26″, 26″ and 28″. Only trolled for three hours and I was culling after an hour and a half. All were caught in the same hundred yard stretch, no shorts. I didn’t see another boat there the entire time. Troll em up, they’re out there!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Matt822

I have not yet seen the redfish mixed in with the mullet yet the fish I have found in schools have been over slot size fish. If you can manage to find these fish before the rest of the people do they will be schooled up and eating every bait you throw at them.

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South Tampa Bite

Florida Sportsman member: gettinwet

We started in the backwaters focusing around mangrove points and cuts between islands as well as schools of large black mullet. After a lot of short strikes on topwater plugs we did manage to hook up a couple of nice reds.

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St. Pete Summer Bite

Florida Sportsman member: stpetebaitman

Tarpon are creatures of habit that move huge distances on a daily basis. They generally come back to the same haunts year after year, but it can at times be a bit of a struggle to find out where they are on a particular day, unless you get them “dialed in”. Getting them dialed takes a lot of time, a lot of dedication and a lot of failed attempts, but once you figure it out the feeling of accomplishment is something else.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


West Central Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: CL604

Went fishing with our Son Capt. Mike ( Mangrove Bully ) out of Tarpon Springs. Despite the gusty winds we were able to find fish-able spots with a total of 11 snook and two reds in just two hours.

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Sarasota Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: MGD

Linda and I fished w Capt. Clark Wright 3 days last week and it was amazing. I’ve caught small tarpon before (maybe 30 pounds) but wanted to get us on some big ones. We went 4/10, 4/6 and 2/5 in the three days fishing the pass and the beach.

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Tarpon Tips

Florida Sportsman member: stpetebaitman

I wanted to take a little time to help people understand what good etiquette means, as well as show you some of the fish that we have caught so far this year. Etiquette goes a long way and helps everyone catch more fish.

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Prefrontal Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Casting with the wind down the side of a mangrove bank and I got a strike/pull-down on my mullet. I casted past the same spot again, reeling it through and nothing. I let the lure fall to the bottom near the boat and it got blasted.

Click here for full forum report.


Manatee River Reds and More

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

A few minutes later a pretty copper-colored rat red inhaled my bait. I needed to size up, so I kept paralleling the shoreline. Reeling in a few minutes later and my lure got blasted, I set the hook on something solid that had some weight.

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Wintertime in Tampa Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Trout have really moved in good with the last few cold fronts, and there has been some nice sized fish being caught between 18 to 22 inches. Artificial jigs have been out producing everything else over the past week, live shrimp did produce a few fish as well as sardines, but 5 “soft plastic jerkbaits darker in color rigged with a light lead head did the best.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Reds and Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Tailn_reds

I have been finding that the reds want the shrimp and the snook want the white bait. The last few times I have been out I have launched out of gandy and fished Weedon Island or south. I find that a lot of the fish I have been catching come from under the mangroves or in deeper water banks.

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Wade Slam

Florida Sportsman member: spydermonkey

We stopped at Gandy and got some shrimp in case I couldn’t find any greenies on the flat. Got to the flat about 8:30 and started off with topwaters. I was throwing a livetarget mullet and my dad was throwing a spook in mullet coloration. After about 20 minutes I hooked up with a nice redfish.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Fall Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Snook fishing has started to get real good inside of Tampa bay. The fish are starting to get concentrated in the canals, rivers, and creeks making for some of phenomenal snook fishing trips. Live sardines will be the bait of choice until they are gone for winter. Free lined baits rigged with a 1/0 hook are the rig of choice.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


South Shore Win

Florida Sportsman member: SouthShoreSlayer

We went where I was on a big school Friday but they never showed up. We moved and she got a 20 inch fish. We ran 15 miles north and I knew it was a bad call. We ran back to Fort Desoto and found them. We wrecked them with double hookups for 20 minutes then they shut back down.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Catching in the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Redfish have been everywhere this month, and the action should only get better. Most of the Redfish I have been catching have been coming from large schools of fish that are over-slot in size. I have also been catch a few more Redfish this week mixed with the Snook and these fish have been mid to upper slot size. Live sardines have been the bait of choice, and they can’t be too big for these big bruiser reds.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Variety

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Juvenile Tarpon have really made a showing recently and have been a blast to catch on light tackle and fly rods. Look for the smaller tarpon to be in small creeks, canals, and river mouths throughout the bay area. Small poppers and weedless jerk baits have been working well during dawn and dusk hours.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Hot Bite Before the Storm

Florida Sportsman member: Slamaholic

In that short time we landed 10 small tarpon and six snook. We worked structure with whitebait. Our chummers were getting blown up in every direction. Before we were pushed away by the thunderstorms, we dropped a lady fish on the bottom and landed a nice 20 pound goliath grouper.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Bruiser

Florida Sportsman member: SnookStack

My rod doubles over and I’m set for an 8 minute battle with a 40 inch snook on 20 pound test. Every head shake my heart dropped. I thought for sure this fish was going to own me. I played the fish with a real light drag she made multiple big runs with a few violent head shakes.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Tarpon and More

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Jared

Inshore snook, redfish, mackerel, and snapper have been keeping the lines tight for the anglers that haven’t wanted to tangle with the silver king. Red fishing has seemed to be improving in the areas of the bay that I have been fishing and most of the fish have been over slot, cut bait has been the most effective with the heat.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Snook on Sand

Florida Sportsman member: johnny-moe

Beach bite has been really good on these great tide days. Nice to see the return of good sized snook in numbers. Also was nice to get my son Charlie on his biggest snook around 38 to 40 inches.

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Dinner and a Show

Florida Sportsman member: SouthshoreSlayer

When the tide died we went Snapper fishing. The bite was on but the wind and tide were fighting each other and could not hold over the ledge. What I ended up doing was keeping the outboard in reverse to hold the anchor tight. It was difficult but we got it done with snapper to 19 inches.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Surprise in the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Royalflush

after a few minutes of finesse battle with only 20 pound braid and 30 pound mono leader, the brown bomber shows himself. But he’s not ready to be landed, got him boat side about 8 times and each time he darted back down.

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Rough Weather Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: stpetebaitman

After locating some free jumping fish on Saturday with nothing but mackerel gear on board we decided to head back out Sunday and at least be semi-prepared. Spent two hours catching bait and headed out to get a bite within three minutes.

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Upper Tampa Bay Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: BryanC

While I was taking pics of that, my rod bent over in the rod holder and I was hooked into a big snook! Unfortunately, she broke me off. Another one bit a little later, and I got her close to the boat, this one looked smaller, possibly a slot fish, but once again my 20 pound leader broke.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Insane Snook Day

Florida Sportsman member: Snookerman311

“Yesterday was a day that will go down in my record books and one I will never forget. On saturday night I had invited a close friend of mine to fish sunday morning with the intentions of throwing artificial and trying to hide from the wind…”

Want to catch monster snook like this? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.

 


Fishing in the Wind

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

I loosen my drag cause I know she isn’t done. She gets to the boat and dives under it. I stick my rod in the water and she makes another long run for the mangroves, then a half-jump. Nice! I bring her around and baby her to the right and then left of the boat. She is on top now and I bring her right next to the boat and freaky expertly slips the net under her.

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Catching Dinner

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

The day was cold but the bite was hot and by the time we brought up our last line we had 42 keeper sheepshead in the box, mixed in with a couple chunky key west grunts and black sea bass. Another 20 or more short sheeps were released.

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February Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Live shrimp fished under a cork has been been producing good results, but artificial’s have been working just as well. Soft plastic jerk baits in darker colors fished on the bottom have been top producers, but suspending twitch bait’s have produced some of the larger fish.

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Negative Tides, Positive Results

Florida Sportsman member: SnookStack

Moving out to the flats I was anxious to start seeing trails and single reds scattered. Soon we started spooking fish, we set our drifts up and started working a 1 1/2 foot depth with mixed grass and sand. It was on, we landed quality reds on the next few drifts.

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January in Tampa Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Live shrimp has been producing good results either free-lined or fished under a cork. Soft plastic jigs have also been producing just as well as live bait. Darker colored soft plastic jerk baits fished on a lighter jig heads such as a 1/16 or 1/8 ounce.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


West Central Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Matt822

The redfish bite has been pretty good with the exception of last weeks cold front I think they are finally starting to settle in to a winter pattern. The big trout bite has really fired up the last couple weeks with fish in the 25-30 inch range holding in deep pot holes on the flats and edges of channels. I have been using all artificials and they have been producing consistently.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Wintertime In Tampa Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Tfoucher

Bait was a little tough for us but we got it and the bite in the morning was not very good since we had slower tides and cold water to deal with. After moving around we finally got into some fish. We ended up with some nice snook, a couple of nice reds and some trout.

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South Shore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: SouthshoreSlayer

After fishing that for two hours the tide was getting right for my spots up North of Cockroach. We made 8 different stops on various mangrove edges, live chummed, and pulled fish from every stop. Most were Snook but we also got 9 Redfish, 3 Trout, and I caught a Sheepshead in a whitebait which was a first for me.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Hot Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Tfoucher

I really did not think the bite was going to be very good but I was wrong. We got 80 plus reds, snook and trout with it mostly being reds and snook with the few trout to round out our inshore slams.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


North Pinellas Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Trout fishing has finally started to pick up in the last week with the slot fish starting to school up, and the larger breeder trout starting moving into the shallows. Look for slot size fish to be in the deeper channels and creeks throughout the bay area.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Great Way to Spend Your Birthday

Florida Sportsman member: Tfoucher

We had caught the last of the outgoing tide and the whole incoming tide. The fish were unbelievably hungry. I told Chad that we had to keep count of all the fish that we caught. I told him that I felt this could be a 100 plus fish day. Boy was I right! To be exact it was 112.

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Mayhem Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Tfoucher

We probably ended up with between 60 to 70 fish maybe more since we were not really keeping tabs. We got snook, reds and trout with most of the fish being snook. I was the only one not to get a slam on the boat!

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Catching on the Alafia

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

I kept working the shallower docks. Skipped under one at 10:50am and got crushed. This fish had some weight and gave me a great battle. I got it in the boat and it was a solid slot red of 25 1/2 inches.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Starting Them Young

Florida Sportsman member: jimmy77

We anchored up on the edge of a pot hole and put out pins and greenbacks under floats over the shallow flooding grass. I got a decent flounder on a pinfish and we got a few reds on greenbacks. My son got the nicest fish, a 23 inch redfish.

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Catching on the Drift

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

The water was very skinny and we kept targeting the 1 1/2 to 3 foot zone. We drifted north and Stormy caught a 20 inch snook on the Bait Buster just a few minutes later. We caught more snook on the flats than I can ever remember.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Upper Tampa Bay Hot Bite

Florida Sportsman member: snook1998

I handed my buddy a rod with a greenback on it and he made a perfect cast right up against a submerged log, BAM he was on. The fish took a good amount of line, we got it up to the boat and it was a 26 inch snook.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


West Central Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Large tarpon have been inside the bay for a few months now and are in post-spawn transition patterns. Early morning and sundown is the best time to get shots at these large fish. Swimbaits such as the D.O.A. baitbuster are the go to lures right now.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Sight Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Shadowcast

Got a chance to fish with Willie “Jack” Jackson in hopes of getting some sight fishing in on the +0.3 low tide late in the morning. The outgoing tide and the recent amount of rain left the water quite stained coming out of the Little Manatee River but we were able to work up a small slam including Jack’s first ever redfish.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Taming the Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: stpetebaitman

Locating the fish was the hardest part, but once we did find them they were willing to put on a show. We even had a double header Saturday and landed them both. We were in by noon both days as it seemed the bite shut down early.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Changing Tactics, Catching Fish

Florida Sportsman member: SnookStack

I can’t seem to catch the specks, but being tempted to take my ladyfish and chunk it up was too tempting. I aborted trout fishing by 8 and the change in tactics paid off! I caught two beauties and was off the water by 10 am.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Tampa Tarpon Action

Florida Sportsman member: CatchDog

Forum member CatchDog Put together an awesome video of some adrenaline filled Tampa tarpon. Between the big jumps and aggressive sharks, tarpon are sure to get your blood flowing. Nice Work!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Wading Picnic Island

Florida Sportsman member: OverslotsOnly

Seeing some mullet getting spooked near a sand patch, I made a cast, twitched it twice and I was on, but it wasn’t a little trout. The drag starts singing and I’m thinking red, but then the fish breaks the surface with those big unmistakable headshakes I’m so accustomed to seeing over in my hometown of Stuart, huge snook!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 


Keepers in the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Captainbly

Only got one bite but only fished for about 30 minutes. But, it was a nice 24 inch gag. Caught on a magnum bomber gold and black trolled on a number 3 planer at about 3.1 mph going against the incoming tide.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


West Central Beach Snook

Florida Sportsman member: splitshot

Forum member splitshot shared some nice snook caught recently from the beach. Throwing top waters in the early morning has produced. Nice work!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


West Central Tarpon and More

Florida Sportsman member: stpetebaitman

Tarpon fishing has been excellent in the bay. But, they are not showing themselves very well. On the 4th we went 3 for 4 before noon. The only fish we saw were the ones we jumped, not a single fish rolled.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Trout Fishing with a Cobia Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: spicyswamprabbit

Our first thought was that it was a shark but as the fight began we quickly realized that it was a rather large cobia. My dad quickly manned the trolling motor and the chase was on. My friend scrambled to get our gaff and readied himself incase we were able to get the fish close enough to the boat. We chased the fish for 15 minutes, and after a failed first attempt to gaff the fish, we managed to get it boat side, gaffed and in the boat.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 


North Pinellas Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: TailingReds

Targeted linesiders around Three-Rooker and Anclote last Wednesday evening. Caught and released four snook to 35 inches, plus a bonus 23 inch trout. All fish were caught during the first part of the outgoing tide on palm sized pinfish and grunts.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Toads

Florida Sportsman member: Tailn_reds

I suddenly hooked up with a 25 and a 1/2 inch red. After we released it my fried hooks up with another monster snook we got it within 10 yards of the boat and it came off. Suddenly I hook up with a huge snook It jumped a few and was gone, finally I ended up getting a 39 inch snook.

Click here for full forum report.


Snook for Everyone

Florida Sportsman member: Bruce F

Forum member Bruce F took his family out snook fishing on mother’s day. They got into them to say the least! Everyone caught nice fish! Great work.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Anna Maria Island Sharkin’

Florida Sportsman member: Royalflush

First run was a 3 foot blacktip. 5 or 6 missed fish later , we had a big one, but turned out to be a 6 foot nurse. More missets and hook pulls, then boom the 12/0 gets nailed, hook set good! About a half hour into the hour long battle, we assume we have either a jewfish or small shark wrapped in a crab trap. Wrong , big bull, 105 inch fat boy.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 


Tampa Bay Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Tailn_reds

We showed up at our spot, water was high and getting ready to drop. The wind and rain started to pick up but we decided to fish through the weather. First cast through out a live bait not 2 minutes later I got smashed and my Friend hooked up with a 30 inch redfish. After a photo release we kept fishing, we caught multiple large jacks and lady fish.

Click here for full forum report.


Disturbing the Peace, Catching Bruisers

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Reeling along slowly and as soon as the lure cleared the dock, it got blasted. Set the hook and my drag begins screaming. Rather than take me right back under the dock and break me off, the fish heads for deeper water at high speed. Rookie mistake by a big fish. The fish comes up tail-walking away from me. It is a beast!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Skyway Kings

Florida Sportsman member: SnookStack

Early Saturday morning I headed out to the Sunshine Skyway to see if the Kings were around. At first light I got my first ever landed Kingfish. Being a flats fisherman this was quite the experience!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Slobs

Florida Sportsman member: Youngbuck

Forum member Youngbuck had a good week, busting 2 healthy Tampa Bay snook. One on a Cut bait and the other on a D.O.A. shrimp.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Snook and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Red fishing has been excellent over the past few weeks and should remain steady for the next few months. Most of the fish we have been catching have been top slot fish, with many fish over slot. Double and triple hook ups have been pretty common on most trips and we have been averaging 12 to 20 fish on a four hour trip with many in the 28-34 inch range.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Slammin’ Snook and More

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

This is just a quick synopsis with the highlights. We fished from around 1pm to dark. First we caught a couple of keeper trout. Around 1:30pm, my lure got crushed on a wind blown bank. Up comes a very nice snook. After a great fight with another jump or two, we got her in the boat. She measured 33 inches.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Tampa Bay Heating Up

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Jared

The redfish bite has been extremely good especially fishing the high water around the new and full moon. Look for the fish to be schooled up on the flats on the higher part of the tides. Live bait has been productive, but fresh dead bait never fails, cut ladyfish, pinfish, threadfin and just about any fresh dead bait will do the trick.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Sarasota Inshore Permit and Sheepshead

Florida Sportsman member: aaron

I saw something that looked like a massive sheepie sitting under a mangrove, so I landed my fly on its head and it ended up being about 5 mediu

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