Captain’s Corner: Fishing likely to stay strong through weekend

Published February 2
Updated February 2

It looks like we are in for another great weekend of fishing. Bait is still at the Sunshine Skyway bridge and is pretty easy to get. Just make sure it is not the only bait you have on board. Shrimp is another great alternative. Sometimes with the cooler water, the fish don’t want to chase down a scaled sardine. The trout bite continues to be hot in front of Cockroach Bay down to Big Bend. Fish the sand holes in about 4 feet of water. Free-lined shrimp or scaled sardines will do the job. I am still using light leader to ensure a consistent bite. Monster sheepshead are eating like crazy during their spawn. You can catch some nice ones off docks, but if you are looking for the 5- to 8-pound class, move to the artificial reefs and rock piles in Tampa Bay. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website lists most of them for you. Most of the reds are being caught close to the mangroves or in the creeks. Shrimp on a No. 1 hook with a small split shot tossed tight against the shoreline or near oyster beds is what they like. Most of the fish are small, but we’ve been catching a few slot fish as well.

Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit