East Bay Fishing Report
Redfish. Redfish have been schooled up around Ft. Desoto and South Tampa Bay. They should make their push into upper Tampa Bay later this month. Expect to see good numbers of them around Weedon Island and Double Branch this month. The reds are definitely mixed in with the big schools of mullet. The bite has been better on the slack and slow out going tide.
Snook. The snook bite is really hot as they start to fatten up for the spawn, which will probably happen early this year. They have been more aggressive in the late morning and afternoon. Most of the fish have been further out on the grass flats also hanging out with the mullet schools. When you first pull up to a spot try throwing the biggest bait you have in the water without chumming. This will usually entice the bigger fish to eat. After about 15 minutes, start throwing out a few handfuls of greenbacks at a time. This will get the snook all fired up.
Tarpon. If you want to target tarpon, I would start around the Skyway Bridge. You can pass the time waiting for a bite by catching Spanish mackerel. Spanish mackerel, silver trout, bluefish, and small blacktip sharks have been all over the sandy shoals around Pinellas Point. The key to stop all the break offs is to use 60-pound fluorocarbon with a No. 1 long shank hook. Some people use steel leader but it may reduce the numbers of fish you catch.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.