Labor Day: The holiday weekend typically marks the end of summer for most folks, but for anglers it represents many angling opportunities and a glimmer of hope for at least slightly cooler weather. Snapper, snook and redfish are cooperating nicely and should continue to do so for the next several months until it eventually gets cold.
What's hot: Mangrove snapper have inundated Tampa Bay from the Skyway all the way to Downtown. Many anglers whether they are recreational or "professional" have realized that this year is the best year in recent memory for consistent catches of "mangos". The grey or mangrove snapper as it is commonly called is an absolutely delicious and fun fish to catch. They love any area with rocks or other structure. The favorite bait for snapper would be a medium to small sized sardine, or a regular shrimp. These guys are ferocious and are famous for being especially tricky. Always bring extra bait when targeting "mangs".
Tip: Snapper are notorious for stealing bait undetected. Therefore, the lightest tackle for the conditions is preferred to detect subtle strikes. It seems as if the nice snapper in the bay are much more educated than their equivalent offshore counterparts.
Soon: Redfish continue to thicken and should continue to do so as the water temperature starts to back off a bit. At higher tides, fish closer to the mangroves for best success.
Captain Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531