Friday, December 15, 2017
Outdoors

East Bay Fishing Report for Dec. 4

Best bait. The extended early fall weather continues as does the fantastic snook bite. Sardines can be caught on the flats just about anytime of day in the 2- to 4-foot range. A few handfuls of chum and a few throws of the net, and the wells have been loaded.

Snook on. Snook are in a holding pattern around the mouths of their winter haunts. Creek and canal systems are holding fish very near the entrances. The fish push in as the fronts arrive and slide out after the weather stabilizes and warm in the sun. Deeper holes on the flats adjacent to these areas are hot. Twenty to thirty snook per trip seems to be the norm, depending on the weather.

Red alert. Redfish are roaming the flats in small groups of two to 10. Tossing a gold spoon is an effective way to find these fish and best a few. Trolling around the mullet schools and tossing soft plastic shad tails also works well. As we approach the next moon phase, the tides will be dropping to below mean low water, which means lots of bars are exposed and the fish group up.

On their tails. Tailing redfish are tough to catch and fishing for them can be extremely addicting. I prefer a gold spoon as a top choice in bait. They cast well, and the steady retrieve coupled with the flash of the spoon can create some deadening strikes. The goal is to cast way past the tailing fish and retrieve the spoon toward them, holding the rod high to keep the line out of the water. Steer the spoon within a foot or so, and if the tail drops, get ready.

Contact Tim Whitfield at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]

Comments

Captainís Corner: Look for that strong speckled trout bite on grass flats

The speckled trout bite has taken off nicely after the first good cold front last weekend. You will find a consistent bite along the grass flats from Apollo Beach down to Pinellas Point. The sweet spot seems to be 4-6 feet of water. If you can find s...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Drop in gulf water temperature means itís sea trout time

The gulf temperature has dropped significantly since our first real cold front last week. One day the water was in the mid 70s, then after the front, it fell to the low 60s. That caused speckled sea trout to become a reliable target. Redfish have bee...
Published: 12/14/17

Captainís Corner: Good time for shallow-water flats fishing

Shallow-water flats fishing can be very exciting this time of year. Trout and redfish are available in good numbers, and the opportunities to catch some gator trout have made recent trips very rewarding. Some of the largest trout have been in very sk...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Captainís Corner: Seek clear water for bottom fishing as temperatures plummet

The great weather, calm seas and exceptional fishing we experienced at the end of November and beginning of December came to a screeching halt with the cold front that came through. Surface water temperatures plummeted from an unseasonable 71 degrees...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Captainís Corner: Sheepshead action lively in cooler weather

Conditions after the cold front are cool and are going to be for a while. That doesnít mean you canít or shouldnít fish. Many anglers get stuck on snook, reds and trout and forget how fun it is to catch sheepshead. Many reefs are already holding good...
Published: 12/09/17
Updated: 12/10/17

Captainís Corner: Fishing will return to normal, but when?

The severity of this cold front will determine the fishing forecast for the next several days. Bait that had been abundant inshore will scatter. Nearshore gulf waters will muddy, and water temperatures. at least temporarily. will plummet. How cold, h...
Published: 12/08/17
Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

I canít believe we are in the last month of the year. And while this is one of my favorite months to fish, it will be controlled by weather. As cold fronts become more frequent and harsh, planning your trips around them will make the biggest differen...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Captainís Corner: Strong results for redfish, speckled trout

This is a great time for variety. Combined trips for speckled trout and redfish are achieving excellent results. With the correct approach, great catches of both species are a reality now. The best anglers use the lightest tackle. Light rods and reel...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Captainís Corner: Take advantage of abundant gag grouper before season ends

Gag grouper fishing and spearing is hot. The season for these grouper in the Gulf of Mexico is winding down, with a slated closure at the end of this month. The cooler water has the gags moving closer, and they are happy when the bottom temperatures ...
Published: 12/05/17

Captainís Corner: Bait schools near shore drawing kings, mackerel, bonito

Nearshore fishing is still going strong in north Pinellas. Bait schools are roaming just a couple of miles offshore, attracting kingfish, Spanish mackerel and bonito. The beaches are still holding sardines for cast netting at sunrise. I like to have ...
Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/05/17