Sunday, December 10, 2017
Outdoors

East Bay Fishing Report

Early spring: The SouthShore area is full of life right now. From the Skyway to the Alafia, the fishing is great and the weather couldn't be better. I have been fishing like it's March and it has been paying off with springtimelike results.

Bait: Shrimp are still producing good results, but they are definitely starting to play second fiddle to whitebait. Whitebait is scattered down the SouthShore but is a sure bet at the Skyway. Black and fiddler crabs have also been producing good results. Fishing them with a small size 1 hook and 15-pound leader under docks is sure to put some nice redfish and sheepshead in the boat.

Trout: The trout fishing has been great in the residential canals, especially in the Apollo Beach and MiraBay areas as well as the 6-foot contour that runs most of the SouthShore. Redfish fishing has been steady in Cockroach Bay and the Little Manatee River with most of the fish in the low to mid slot with some big ones mixed in. There have also been some black drum roaming around and eating shrimp without hesitation.

Snook: The snook fishing is really starting to heat up on the flats and estuaries. We have had lots of success fishing them on the strongest parts of the tide and have put several in the 25- to 35-inch range in the boat over the last couple of weeks. Fishing a live whitebait hooked through the nostril and free-lined toward waiting snook is a surefire recipe for success.

Matt Santiago can be reached at (813) 205-2327, c[email protected] and online at fishingguidetampa.com.

Comments

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...
Updated: 1 hour ago

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

Captainís Corner: This is the month to target gag grouper

With our current regulations in the Gulf, this is the best month to target gag grouper. Although the gag grouper season opens in June they are hard to come by for most months unless anglers travel to depths of 240 feet or more. With each passing cold...
Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/04/17

Captainís Corner: Speckled sea trout can be easily caught on artificial lures

Speckled sea trout are one of the most reliable targets this time of year. Grass flats are usually empty because of extreme low tides. That causes higher concentrations of fish on the edges and in the deeper grass flats. No live bait is needed. A red...
Published: 12/01/17

Captainís Corner: Cooler weather lures decent gag grouper

Mild temperatures have allowed anglers to get out and explore many areas. Cooler weather has lured decent gag grouper. We expected them to arrive in the past month, and they havenít disappointed. Numerous rocks in 20- to 120-foot depths seem to be ho...
Published: 11/30/17

Captainís Corner: Donít have to go far offshore for grouper

When most anglers think of bottom fishing for grouper, they usually think that means taking a long run offshore. During late November and early December, grouper migrate close to shore, so a long run might not be necessary. There are times we target ...
Published: 11/28/17
Updated: 11/29/17