Saturday, March 17, 2018

East Bay Fishing Report for Oct. 23

Cool change. The first major cold front of the season has come through bringing heat relief and some nice fresh air. We typically get a nice cool snap about a week or so before Halloween. This can and does change fishing conditions and strategies from those of summer.

On the downside. Though the weather is great, it comes with some drawbacks as well. Wind will be a factor now until springtime, and fish already are on the move. Baitfish collection will eventually become extremely difficult.

Simply reds. Redfish have been swarming over almost every oyster bar and mangrove shoreline in Tampa Bay. Large aggregations of fish are roving the flats picking up dinner wherever possible. Try using a piece of cut bait thrown into the thickest mullet school you can find. The results might surprise you. On a recent outing, we crushed the redfish on torn pieces of greenbacks. The dead bait out-fished the live stuff 10 to one. When we cleaned our reds at the end of the day, their stomachs were jammed full of our chum pieces. "Chum and they will come."

Back it up. Backwater areas and residential canals will start to gather late-season snook, redfish and big sheepshead. Live shrimp becomes the bait of choice when the water gets cold. Also, the use of soft plastic jigs can be lethal for catching trout. A slow retrieve works best. Specks bunch up in large groups when it is cool outside.

Return of the macks. Look forward to the seasonal migration of king and Spanish mackerel. They are relatively easy to catch and are delicious smoked, broiled or grilled. Both species are delicious if eaten fresh.

Captain Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at


It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

February seemed like March with record-breaking heat, but now March seems like February with below-average temperatures. This is a good thing. Spring fishing has started way too early in the past few years. The cold-water temperature we have now will...
Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

Having a fantastic river trip one day where we caught a lot of snook in shallow water on a fly and going back to the same location three days later and not finding any cooperative fish can be very puzzling. What happened? Recent warm weather was repl...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

We traditionally look at two holidays to signal the start of trolling season for kingfish and Spanish mackerel along with their attendant migratory companions, blackfin tuna, cobia and barracuda. These are St. Patrickís Day (March 17) and Columbus Da...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

When the weather settles down in the bay area, spring fishing should shift quickly into high gear. Just before the recent heavy winds arrived and churned the nearshore gulf into a muddy mess, seasonal migratory fish were showing up all over town. For...
Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18

Captainís Corner: Trout return to their early spring areas

Cool air has filtered down, giving us hopefully the last cold blow for awhile. Recent fronts have shaken things up. But fishing has been good considering the weather. Trout have pushed into their early spring areas, basically where they were five wee...
Published: 03/10/18
Captainís Corner: Snook, trout out in abundance as spring approaches

Captainís Corner: Snook, trout out in abundance as spring approaches

March is here, and the weather is great. This month is when we make that change toward spring fishing. Snook really ramps up, and trophy trout mixed with good redfish are not far behind. Snook has to be the most targeted fish for March. Just about ev...
Published: 03/09/18

Captainís Corner: Cold fronts might be a blessing for fishing

So much for getting too hot too fast. It was a concern a couple of weeks ago when water temperatures were flirting with 80 degrees in some areas. We worried that the masses of kingfish might blow right by us as they sought that 70-75 temperatures the...
Published: 03/07/18
Updated: 03/08/18

Captainís Corner: The right location means big trout numbers

It is peak time for catching large numbers of trout. A "spring thing" right now, it is not unusual to put up a big number with a number of quality-sized fish being caught. This should continue for another two months. For tackle and techniques, trout ...
Published: 03/05/18
Updated: 03/07/18