SUMMER FISHING
ON
TAMPA BAY
by
Allen Applegarth

 

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NOTE: This map is not to serve as a navigational chart—only a reference map to give you a survey of the area. Since I am not a professional map designer the scale is not accurate, however, the placement of locations and structures are

In the last week we fished this area several times and had hook ups consisting of Reds, Snook, and Lady fish.

GUIDELINES
Follow the guideline and you're sure to catch them too!

Due to the great abundance of pinfish in this area—shrimp is not recommended

When fishing the heavily condensed grass area’s—top water weedless baits are most productive.

Fish the incoming tide working top water weedless over the grass beds. The reds will bite best near peak high tide. Look for the jumping mullet and you’ll find the reds nearby. Tail wakes are visible from afar, but get too close and spook wakes will be inevitable.

Use an oar and quietly paddle within casting range of the tail wakes. Present your bait beyond or aside and retrieve slowly—using jerk and sink methods.

Use gold glitter colors when the sun drops and root beer color in full sun.

The water temperature is 88 on top and 85 on bottom, making it difficult to find snook. However, troll around the mangrove edges closest to open water (nearest skyway) and you’ll pull a few from the deeper and cooler holes or pockets beneath the overhanging mangroves.

Chumming live bait (minnows and pins) will work best over sand bottom. Trying to chum over grass will only give the bait a secure hiding spot within the grass. The trick to chumming is to keep the bait near the boat, hence, chum over sand bottom and the bait will use your boat as the hangout. In addition, drop a bag of frozen chum to the bottom after live chumming and watch as thousands of bait fish join the live chum that you tossed in earlier.

 

REDFISH SUMMARY
Pull up quietly and look for tail wakes and then paddle within casting range and drop anchor. Toss in 6 live baits followed by a bag of chum secured to the bottom. Once the chum slick becomes visible, toss in another half dozen live baits and begin working your top water artificials. Cast near the tail wakes (not on them) and retrieve with a slow jerk and sink method. After time, nearby bait will pick up on the chum scent and see the live chum in the area. From this point, it’s a game of follow the leader. The bait takes notice of the live chum near your boat and follows suit. The reds see the bait on the move and follow suit. The entire time you will need to continue casting afar, intersecting the reds following the bait run to your boat.

SNOOK SUMMARY
Troll around the mangroves nearest open water. Always fish the shaded areas (opposite of sun). Snook will root out the deeper pockets (cooler) and randomly dart out at passing bait. If possible, cast parallel with the mangroves and retrieve gracefully, keeping your bait close to the mangroves. Listen for water breaks (loud pops) and zero in on them. These are sure signs of feeding snook. Snook will make a loud pop followed by a swirling action in the water which adds to the popping sound.

Keep Your Tip Up

Allen Applegarth

 

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