Change is in the air as the summer time patterns settle in on Tampa Bay. Spotted sea trout are abundant and chewing like crazy but have transitioned to deeper water. The slightly cooler water in 6-10’ have trout schooled up and happy. White baits fly lined, live shrimp and soft plastic jigs are all scoring.
Snook on the beach is one of this Captains favorite. White baits on 2/0 circle hooks finished with 3’ of 25 pound fluorocarbon leader is all it takes. The swash channel up tight against the sandy beaches is where to find the large females. Typically beaches are free of obstacles allowing lighter tackle. After the tuff winter water temperatures take to time revive you catch properly. Keep an eye out for dolphins as they have learned fisherman equal free meals.
Mackerel are moving further up Tampa Bay. Last week we took mackerel North of Apollo Beach. Clarke silver spoons retrieved rapidly is close to a sure thing as you can find. The big macks 6 pounds and larger have been taking large slob size threadfins. Long shank hooks on 50 pound leader or heavier is a must to prevent cutoffs. Deploy chum blocks or make your own chum slick cutting fresh baits will keep the macks happy and attract black tip sharks.
One thing has not been changing is the red hot tarpon bite. This is Captains Stevens 12th year fishing Tampa Bay and I have never seen so many tarpon. The Skyway Bridge, Egmont Key and area beaches are holding big numbers. Crabs, threadfins and jumbo white baits are the baits of choice. I have also noticed bigger numbers of anglers stalking tarpon on fly rods.
Captain Steven Markovich www.onthemarkcharters.com