Shorter days have caused water temperatures to drop significantly. This has stimulated many species to feed and fatten up for the winter. As difficult as it is to believe, summer is officially over. Blistering days are now only a bad memory. Anglers can look forward to the spike in activity brought on by autumn.
What's hot: Redfish are roving the eastern and northern shores of Tampa Bay. From downtown to Safety Harbor, including the Interbay Peninsula, schools of hungry reds are keeping rods bent and anglers happy.
Tip: They will eagerly eat live shrimp, greenbacks, pinfish and even small threadfins. Artificial lures of choice would be a gold spoon or soft plastic jig. Established oyster mounds and areas of hard shell and rocks are ideal haunts.
Tactics: A 20-pound test section of leader and a small circle hook are a dynamite live-bait rig. This can be free-lined or used under a float. The hooks rarely pull out and hardly ever gut-hook a fish. They are great for beginners because no hook set is required.
Also hot: Large mangrove snapper are being caught right in downtown Tampa. Mangos up to 4 pounds are not uncommon. Snapper of this size are surprisingly powerful. Therefore, the braided style of line is highly advised. Live chum is beneficial to bring fish to the surface. It is crucial to catch the first few fish or the bite will slow dramatically.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at snookfish.com or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.