Spring fishing is around the corner as the spring migration from the rivers and creeks to the flats and mangrove shorelines starts around the Tampa Bay area. March and April are typically our best months for flats fishing and it's starting to live up to expectations. The snook, redfish and trout fishing has been cranking up in Tampa Bay. The redfish fishing in the bay has been good. Weedon Island, Fourth Street flat and the South Shore are doing great on the end of the outgoing tide and the beginning of the incoming tide around the potholes in the Christmas pass area, and the potholes on the Fourth Street and oyster bars. The baits of choice is a weedless jerk bait or a gold spoon as for fly a crab pattern. Snook are starting to leave the deep water of the creeks and will make their way to the passes and creek mouths over the next few weeks. The south end of Weedon around to the power plant along with big island gap and the rocks at Picnic Island have been holding good snook. The bait of choice is a live sardine or shrimp but as the water warms the top water fishing first thing in the morning is a great way to fish for snook. As the sun rises try switching to a jerk bait or a twitch bait. Warming water means good trout fishing over the grass flats at the end of Weedon Island and Pinellas Point flat in 2-4 feet of water over grass. Use live bait over the next few months, whether it is sardines, pinfish, or shrimp for all of the big three, and cut ladyfish works well for big redfish and snook. I step up my leader size from 20- to 30-pound fluorocarbon with a 2/0 circle hook.
Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.