The weekend was very cloudy and rainy but it did not hamper the bite. Thunderstorms in the Tampa Bay region are common during summertime and can explode with little notice. Frequent lightning and strong wind gusts can turn the Bay into a battlefield. Always have a plan to get to shelter frequently often not your marina.
The water temperature is hovering near 90 so finding the cooler water or shade is critical for success. Spotted sea trout can be found in water as deep as 15-20’. The same range markers dotting Tampa Bay holding Mackerel will often hold trout near the bottom. Try dropping white bait with a small split to fish the bottom while working the mackerel on top.
Mackerel, Ladyfish and small sharks were red hot again. Tactics are simple start by anchoring in 10’ adjacent to grass flats or other structure that hold glass minnows. Deploy a chum bag and periodically toss live baits into the tide. The weekend saw many cutoffs before getting smart and using 50 pound leader with 1/0 long shank hoods.
I received two very good snook reports this weekend. Both came from lower Tampa Bay. In both cases during the morning high tides had the snook inhaling scaled sardines tight against the mangroves. Great news after the freeze of last winter.
Captain Steven Markovich www.onthemarkcharters.com