What's hot: Mangrove snapper fishing inside Tampa Bay has been excellent recently. The weekend's full moon sparked a bite from quality-sized fish, and the action should remain strong until water temperatures take a drastic drop.
Bait: Buying live shrimp from the marina has been all that is necessary. Other baits such as scaled sardines, small threadfins or tiny pinfish work, but why go through the hassle when snapper love shrimp? Avoiding being soaking wet with a cast net in the chilly morning air is a bonus.
Target structure: Mangrove snapper are structure oriented and congregate in areas with high relief or undercut caves. The edges of the shipping channel provide this along the length of the bay. Isolated rock piles off the side of the channel can sometimes be even more productive, but take time and patience to locate. Artificial reefs inside the bay also provide the right kind of structure for snapper and are generally much easier to find as their coordinates are published.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727)510-1009.