Fall fishing remains in full effect. Bait continues to be around on almost every flat in the middle bay. Chumming with dry tropical fish food brings them to the surface and makes them easy to capture in the net. Loading the well is a must if you're trying to get snook to pop. Ravenous snook are fattening up for the winter, if it ever gets here. They're feeding well on incoming tides. As the tide reaches the middle stages, the tide speed is at its peak. Snook find the mangroves offering protection and find the chummers irresistible. The problem is it's a false hope. Often I will load the rods with a bait and have anglers wait while I chum the fish heavy. Once snook become comfortable, they move off the edge of the mangroves a bit, their guard is down, baits are cast and fish are hooked. Negative tides associated with the full moon have fish pushed off into holes. Running the tunnel hull skiff this week has allowed my clients access to deeper holes. Many of the holes are surrounded by inches of water or dry land. Redfish, trout and snook become trapped. It can be like fishing in a barrel. Artificial baits that imitate a shrimp or worm bounced slowly across the bottom can prove to be detrimental to the fish. Dark colors seem to be producing more right now.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]