Fishing Around Tampa Bay (Aug. 28)

Published: Friday, August 28, 2015 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 6:16 p.m.

1. At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, tons of pompano caught on Thursday morning, reports Brook Cunningham. Anglers also taking home 4-5 Spanish mackerel 12-16 inches long daily. An angler hooked a 5-foot tarpon on a Gotcha plug and got three jumps out of it before it spooled him. Lots of snook at night on live bait. Also catching mangrove snapper and trout. Water temperature 89.9 Tuesday and 88.8 at 1 p.m. Thursday, up 1 degree from last Thursday.

2. At Madeira Beach, keeper gag and red grouper over hard bottom and rocky ledges in 60-90 feet, but amberjack have been biting better than anything over wrecks from 80-90 feet on out, reports Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947, ext. 306).

3. At John's Pass, snook season opens on Tuesday and the best action is at night – around the bridge, north jetty and lighted docks in the pass, and docks with lights along residential areas in Boca Ciega Bay. Redfish in the upper slot and above around oyster bars in the bays on greenbacks, pinfish or cut bait.

4. At Fort DeSoto Park, a "pile'' of big redfish in channel cuts on the flats during outgoing tides and up in the mangroves on high tides in the mornings, reports Capt. Jason Lineberger of Tampa (813-363-9474). Reds mostly over the slot at 32-38 inches on greenbacks or cut pinfish on bottom, Good numbers of snook and a few 32-36 inches still on beaches in swash channels early on 3-inch pinfish with light leaders. Lineberger expects snook to stay there because there's so much freshwater in Tampa Bay.

5. Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, Capt. Shawn Crawford of Lakeland (941-747-3856) reports his anglers "hammered'' redfish 27-32 inches non-stop for 90 minutes on Friday on the flats with small pinfish or greenbacks. The low incoming tide was best. But Crawford wasn’t able to get back on them this week as they are constantly on the move. Crawford said Bill Cobb of Lakeland landed and released a 45-pound tarpon Wednesday in 2 feet of water around an oyster bar in upper Sarasota Bay while fishing for redfish with small pinfish on 10-pound-test braided line. Crawford’s anglers also catching undersized snook, trout, mangrove snapper 15-17 inches and Spanish mackerel on the flats. Action picked up late last week and early this week, but was slowing down as the full moon approached. Water temperature 90 degrees at end of the day Wednesday. Nice bait to net on flats this week, and along beach, too. Mangrove snapper good around Skyway and nearby rock piles, said Capt. Jason Lineberger.

6. At Anna Maria, mangrove snapper pretty good in Longboat Pass and New Pass, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford. Flats fishermen catching a few redfish, snook and trout, nothing great, in Sarasota Bay.

7. At St. Petersburg, Capt. Chuck Rogers of Tampa (813-918-8356) is “crushing’’ big mangrove snapper 15 inches and larger around pylons in the shade at Gandy Bridge on silver dollar-sized pinfish around ends and starts of tides when it’s slack. Mangroves also good along rocky channel edges, rock piles and artifical reefs. Rogers also hooked a couple of cobia 30-35 pounds under the bridge while snapper fishing. Rogers said big redfish that were hot last week dried up with the bay temperature hitting 90 degrees with a lack of cooling rainwater pouring into the bay this week.

8. In the north end of Tampa Bay, good-sized mangrove snapper going for small pinfish or greenbacks around pylons at Howard Frankland, reports Capt. Chuck Rogers. A few redfish around oyster bars on dead bait off bottom, with scent needed because the water color is so dingy, said Capt. Jason Lineberger.


On the Space Coast, redfish 22-30 inches are taking live shrimp or cut baits (mullet, ladyfish) early mornings, reports Capt. Keith Mixon of Lakeland ( Reds are active along channel drop-offs and ambush sites in Haulover Canal. Mixon anchors up, rigs baits on circle hooks and exercises patience. At Port Canaveral, keeper flounder averaging 12 inches are eating live shrimp, strips of fresh mullet and jerkbaits in bright colors off the bottom from daybreak up to 9 a.m. Mixon also jigs bait off bottom while drifting for flounder, a good tactic when the bite is slower.

At Sebastian Inlet, snook mostly over the slot at 34-36 inches are being caught in the inlet on live bait (croakers, pigfish), reports John Gianferrara at Whitey's Bait & Tackle at Sebastian Inlet (321-724-1440), and the season opens on Tuesday. Snook biting on tidal movement during the day and at night. Redfish also mostly over-slot have been best in the inlet after dark on live pinfish. A couple of permit in 20-pound range in inlet. Lots of jacks. Mangrove snapper and sea bass, with a few triggerfish, steady in 50-55 feet on first reef.

At Fort Pierce, Capt. Adam White caught a 50-pound wahoo high-speed trolling outside Stuart Inlet on Thursday morning, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637). A few small dolphin and sailfish trolling off Fort Pierce. Mangrove snapper pretty consistent in the river around bridges and offshore in 60-80 feet. A few anglers buying tackle for snook season next week. Tropical Storm Erika could possibly hit the Florida coast by Sunday or Monday, so keep an eye on the forecast. Swells are already increasing.

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