What's hot: The wind seems to have been relentless lately, forcing many to take refuge in protected inland waters. That said, the snook bite has been steady. Fish from 24-28 inches have been caught. The bait of choice is a scaled sardine. The fish are in spawn mode and need the oils to float their eggs. Big females are chewing well and might have their guard down a bit, making this a good time to stick a trophy.
What else: Tarpon and speckled trout of 15-26 inches are roaming the same beaches and passes as snook. During days of light and variable winds, the bay has been on fire with mackerel and sharks. The mackerel are hanging on any kind of structure, shoals, range markers, wrecks and reefs. Look for schools of threadfins raining on top, and the macks should be close. Bull sharks and blacktip sharks are attacking mackerel, jacks and anything else hanging around. Recently, we had eight shark hookups. Some were lost at the boat or by tail slapping the line. We had one spool us and had a 250-pound nurse shark at the boat only to see her bust off before a picture could be snapped.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.