Mild temperatures and light winds greeted my anglers at 7:30. Bridget and Chris from Virginia were onboard and looking forward to seeing what Tampa Bay had to offer. With the water temperature a chilly 57 I opted for shrimp just in case we could not find any white baits. A quick run to the Skyway Bridge and 3 tosses of the cast net and we were ready. Chumming wasn’t necessary as my bottom machine was marking lots of bait.
We ran North near Apollo Beach for our first stop. With a low tide of -.09 many of the areas we fished the last few months were high and dry. During these winter low tides it’s important you know how and where you can safely navigate.
Our 3rd bait in resulted in a snook blowing up on the white bait not 15’ from the boat. Not 5 minutes later Chris was fast into a frisky 23” snook that did not throw the hook this time. Chris was fishing the deepest water in the area. Next cast he scored a chunky spotted sea tout quickly followed by several more snook. Chris had the hot hand and could do no wrong with snook. Bridget finally got on the board with a feisty trout pushing 18”.
We then targeted rivers looking for warmer water. Chris once again was red-hot quickly catching a several redfish completing his Tampa Bay Grand Slam. By noon we landed 15 snook, very good considering snook get very lethargic in cold water. Our taxtics were simple focusing on dark muddy bottoms that hold heat . Snook were tight against the mangroves with deep cuts.