Everyday on the water is a new adventure. With my anglers Steven and Ricky onboard Tuesday we headed out for a day catching redfish, trout and mackerel. Bait which was tuff the last week was vastly improved and only required 4 tosses of my 12’ Calusa cast net to fill the live well. With a mix of white baits and threadfins we headed out in search of redfish.
We focused on a non motor zone in lower Tampa Bay looking to take advantage of the high tide. As we eased our way in we saw thousand of mullet along the way. Mullet, mangroves and oyster bars combine to make excellent opportunity’s for redfish. The stars and the moon must have been out of alignment as both live and cut baits were ignored. Captain Jim Fesperman of Hook Setting Charters worked the same area later in the day taking 3 redfish to 30” and observed another charter take over a dozen bronze bombers.
With that auspicious start I made a move to an area where I have been taking large trout, bluefish and mackerel. It didn’t take long and it was game on! Ricky’s drag was screaming and rod bent double. I wasn’t sure at first what he was doing battle with for 5 minutes. To my amazement it was a monster mackerel weighting in at 5 pounds. That was only the beginning as bait after bait was hammered by the largest mackerel this Captain has ever seen. They look like kingfish they are so big.
Quickly we upgraded the 5 pounders for several over 6 pounds. This was awesome fishing on light tackle. I started with 25 pound fluorocarbon leader which got shredded, then 30 pound which was still no match for these jumbo Macks. Finally 40 pound leader with a long shank 1/0 hook worked but still needed changing frequently.
Twice we had schools of bluefish show up which inhaled every bait or lure in sight. Soft plastic jigs were demolished in several casts. Trout where mixed in on this deep grass flat but were smaller than they had been all around 14-15”.
I am not sure or why we have such monster mackerel in Tampa Bay but I for one am loving the action. Tarpon will be a popular target this week with big outgoing tides in the afternoon. Look for pass crabs floating in the current near the Skyway, scope up a dozen or so and you are ready to chase tarpon.