Well, the New Year has come and we are into January. I have called Tampa my home all my life and every time around Jan. 1 I know why. With our great weather comes top-notch fishing. Snook fishing still holds strong around the river and creeks as weather just has not reached the point of cold. Whitebait (aka greenbacks) still roam throughout the bay and can be caught with ease around the towers and markers. To catch bait, bring big heavy bait nets as bait is deeper this time of year. Trout fishing is typically a given this time of year as trout move up on the grass flats and are a great target, especially with artificial baits, but there has been some concern about trout since throughout the state, numbers of bigger trout have steadily declined since 2012. With that being said we're finding some trout just above legal size on trips. If you target trout, use all the precautions to ensure a safe release. A few good things to practice would be wet hands when handling the fishing and a de-hooker always helps when releasing.
Jason Prieto is a full-time fishing guide and can be reached at (813) 727-9890.