Oppressive heat and rapidly warming water temperatures have encouraged anglers to head out early for late-season flats fishing.
What's hot: Snook are actively feeding on the incoming tides. The early tides of last week offered anglers one last chance at springtime-type action. There have been some absolute behemoths lurking around with pods of smaller fish. These big ones have been around the block a few times and therefore are quite clever. Redfish are continuing to thicken around area oyster mounds and deeper cuts on the flats on lower tides.
What's not: The seasonal arrival of the infamous brown floating algae has occurred, and conditions are continuing to worsen as water temperatures soar. The mucky mess will absolutely trash your boat while netting bait, as well as making a cast net feel like an anvil.
Tips: Summertime fishing requires extreme patience and a tolerance of the conditions. Moss, heat, crowds and potentially deadly lightning daily all play a part in the summer role of Tampa Bay. Stick around at favorite spots for just a little longer than normal, watch the weather and be courteous. There seems to always be room for improvement in that regard.
A few mackerel are around, but they are definitely not as thick as last year. The "macks" we have been catching are nice big ones that will overlap on a nice-sized broiling pan.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at www.snookfish.com or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.