What's hot: Whether it is tarpon, snook, redfish, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper or shark, August is exploding with action. Bait is all over the bay, and that entices many predators into a feeding frenzy. Be prepared to lose some of your bait in your live well this time of year. The water temperature is in the upper 80s, and the oxygen level is getting low in some of your favorite fishing spots.
Tips: The bay and beaches are holding a lot of Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Look for the bait balls and you will find the fish. Mackerel can also be caught by anchoring up around range markers and throwing out a chum bag. If you are looking for a bigger species, bull and blacktip sharks can be found in the same locations.
Tackle: Make sure to use gear as light as possible. Small whitebait and shrimp are the bait of choice. Mangrove snapper are showing up on the markers and any bottom that has structure. Nice schools of redfish have been roaming around Weedon Island. They are holding in the deeper troths. Patience is the key with these fish. If live bait is not working, try cut bait. Both are producing good numbers.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.
Stephen F. Holder