Past trips: Fishing for redfish in lower Tampa Bay has been good. During low tide, reds were easy to find. Hundreds of tails could been seen in the shallows. They were slow to feed, but we managed four or five before they dropped off the flats to deeper water. During high tide, the reds move under the mangroves for the cooler water and for protection from dolphins. Cast under or next to the mangroves or there will be no hook-up. The flats are so warm that most live baits don't survive. Use fresh-cut bait to get the reds to feed. The best action is early morning and late in the day.
Better spots: The best fishing is over the deeper grass beds in Tampa Bay. These beds are holding good numbers of trout, bluefish, sharks, mackerel and ladyfish. Net small whitebait and live chum the area. About 50 or more live chummers will get the fish near the surface. Cast a nose-hooked bait on a long-shank hook to surface strikes.
Snook: There are fewer schools and fewer fish in the pods. The snook we caught fed on large threadfins cast up current of the school. Repeated casts were needed to get them to feed.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.