Snook remain a strong bite in the middle bay, Fort De Soto and South Shore areas of Tampa Bay. They're staging up for the spawn, and some beasts have been caught recently. Some females are pushing 40 inches, and the pups aren't far away if you're looking for a consistent bite. Moving water is key, and now that water temperatures are in the mid to upper 80s, an incoming tide seems to be the best. Please leave the caught females in the water right up until you take the photograph, then move quickly and revive her before you turn her loose. They hold the future of our fishery inside. A recent influx of trout has been a welcomed site. Many are in the 16- to 18-inch range, perfect for the table. The larger fish have worms this time of year, so I tend to turn the big ones back. Spanish mackerel are a mainstay and without a doubt fun to catch: violent strikes and blazing runs followed by nonstop head-shaking and tug of war. Terminal end starts with 15-pound braid, 40-pound leader and a 1/0 long shank silver hook. A loose drag is a must. If cutoffs persist, up the leader to 50 or 60. Wire leader only cuts down on strikes.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]