The red hot bite on Tampa Bay continues! Big mackerel 5-7 pounds and 15-20Ē spotted sea trout are thick in 8-10í adjacent to lush grass flats holding bait. I canít recall this many big mackerel in these locations the last 10 years. Itís like catching schoolie kingfish only inshore!
Bait is key as the speedsters prefer the biggest threadfins in the live well. Gather white baits for snook, reds and trout on the flats then run to deeper water on Tampa Bay. Threadfins are easily spotted on the surface, just look for the dimple / raining effect on the surface. Position yourself up current and drift into the school. One toss of a cast net and you should be good to go.
Sunday I started the day where we ended Saturday with good to nonstop action. Trout were first in the mix and within 10 minutes the first big Mack arrived. The hit on light tackle is awesome to say the least. Captain Steven has changed rigging beefing leaders to 50 pound and hook size from 1/0 to 3/0 as macks this size has a large mouth. The heavy leader and bigger hooks had no negative effects we even caught trout on this set up.
With the high outgoing tide starting we moved to a local island and found a redfish school. The bite was solid on both live white baits and cut threadfins. These redfish get lots of pressure so position the boat as far away as possible and made long casts. 2/0 circle hooks and 20-25 pound fluorocarbon leader is all you need. The islands in no motor zones are great for kayakers.
Many of Captain Stevenís anglers enjoy tangling with black tip sharks. Pinellas Point has been my shark area. I deploy the power pole in 6í and start chumming with cut threadies and white baits. Within 20 minutes 20-30Ē black tips were all around the boat.
Capt. Steven Markovich www.onthemarkcharter.com