What's hot: Fishing has remained pretty consistent in the Tampa Bay area over the past week. It has been driven by good moving water. Our bite is always better around the times we have good tidal flow, which we have had this past week. The heat and rain have contributed the most to this. We have had times when we have had an hour of nothing that was followed by fish on every cast for an hour. This has happened just after the tide has turned over.
Tips: There are times in the spring and late fall that moving water is not as important, but right now it is paramount. I have been fishing primarily for snook, trout, grouper, and Spanish mackerel. We have gone after redfish on high water and had moderate success fishing around the mangroves and under a few docks. The problem with fishing on really high water is the fish have a lot of room to get back under the bushes, making it hard to get a bait in front of them. Take plenty of chum baits to lure them out.
Bait details: The bait of choice is scaled sardines. They are available from 1 inch up to 6 inches, depending on where you are throwing your net. Beware of the dreaded Christmas tree cast. I've been using a quarter-inch net for a month to avoid this.
Ric Liles fishes out of Tampa, Ruskin, Bradenton and the surrounding areas, and can be reached at (813) 601-2900, via email at CaptainRic@msn.com or at ReelSimpleFishing.com.