Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

As water warms, seek out bait schools to find inshore species

What's hot: March is typically one of the best months to fish in Tampa Bay. This year, the cold winter may push the real feeding frenzy back a week. Once the water temperature reaches the mid 60s, it will start some of the best action that anyone can experience in our area. The tide levels start to get higher on the stronger moon phases, which in turn causes large schools of redfish to invade our flats in the Tampa Bay area. Trout will also start to push into shallower water, moving from the deeper grass flats and edges of the sand bars. Snook will start to feed aggressively after the winter, wanting to attack just about anything in sight.

Key to success: I have said this the whole winter; I have been successful in my charters because I have been able to keep up on the movement of the baitfish. Filling the baitwell with scaled sardines and threadfin herring has proved to be most effective. The same will be even more important this month. In years past, redfish have fed aggressively on live bait early in the spring. I talk with friends that I trust, find schools of fish, whether it is snook, trout or redfish, and we target them with live wells full of herring and sardines. Once the pressure gets to be too much on these schools of fish, they will settle down and become hard to catch on live bait.

Chumming: Live bait chumming is one of the most effective ways to get fish into a feeding frenzy. Care has to be taken when starting to chum. I like to throw a few baits out to see what mood the fish are in. If I notice fish start to feed on the live chum, then I start to throw more baits in the water. If I do not see any action, I stop chumming to prevent seagulls and terns from diving in the water and spooking the fish.

Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit

xxxxxx xxx

Hed goes here

Type goes here

As water warms, seek out bait schools to find inshore species 03/05/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 5, 2009 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108