Monday, May 21, 2018
Outdoors

East Bay Fishing Report

Rainfall from rainfall: Recent heavy rainfall has parts of upper Tampa Bay looking like a glass of hot tea. The rivers are flowing heavily from a record-setting wet summer, pushing a lot of fresh water into Tampa Bay. This is not a bad thing because some species love the heat relief that the rivers and creeks offer.

What's hot: Yes it is blazing hot outside, but some areas are quite productive right now. Mangrove snapper and redfish are the most cooperative species right now. On a recent trip, both species nailed shrimp and live sardines like they were going out of style. Their size was impressive, especially for the area.

Tip: Fishing in stained water requires versatility when fishing with artificial lures. Colors look different to fish at different depths, this is especially true when the water has that "river" colored look. Try an array of color schemes until you establish a pattern, then stick with it. Once again, the redfish have become much more active. They are all the way from Pendola Point to Ruskin despite the "iced tea" color to the water.

Science: It is actually the decaying vegetation up river that gives the water its "tea" look. Tannic acid is the by-product of plant decomposition also responsible for the amber color. It becomes really noticeable in the bay when it rains heavy for several days in a row.

Seasonal: For the frugal angler without a proper bimini top, or any way to have shade on the boat, a makeshift instant "T" top can be deployed. The picnic table-type umbrellas will fit into most rod holders and can be easily put up and down for travel quickly. It might not be fancy, but who really cares about fancy when faced with the decision to roast in the direct sun or stay relatively cool in the shade. Personally, I'll take the shade option every time.

Dave Walker charters out of Tampa Bay and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx

Comments

Captainís Corner: Red grouper fishing continues to be good

Red grouper fishing continues to be steady in depths of 100-120 feet. Large bait stacks are holding a fish or two, but larger concentrations are on very small rolls and potholes in those depths. Zooming in on the bottom 10-15 feet of the water column...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Catching a giant cobia

Cobia is the topic this week. Capt. Tom Markham, aboard the Simply Hooked, was beginning his daily bait routine. It turned out that one of the markers located near Clearwater Pass, surprisingly, had a giant fish waiting for him. The captain slid up t...
Published: 05/16/18

Captainís Corner: Tarpon showing up on beaches, bridges

This week shouldnít be a total wash out. While there is a chance of rain every day, it should only be sporadic. Hopefully it wonít dirty up the water too much. If you are a tarpon fisherman and look forward to their arrival like I do, then you are in...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Captainís Corner: This is best time of year for bay area fishing

Itís the best time of year for fishing in the area. Tarpon can be targeted off of any of the bridges. The Gandy, Howard Frankland and Skyway are my top choices. While awaiting a tarpon strike, I kill time by dropping smaller baits for Spanish mackere...
Published: 05/13/18

Captainís Corner: Change tactics for fly fishing success

Most fly fishers would prefer minimum wind and cloudless skies to increase chances for a banner day. This has been a problem lately. The wind makes casting more difficult, unless very experienced, and clouds interfere with sight casting opportunities...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on handling burgeoning baitfish

Schools of baitfish have arrived and taken up residence in all depths. Birds are diving on them close to the beach, all the way out to the midwater artificial reefs. Farther offshore, bait schools might not be visible on the surface but can be detect...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/12/18

Captainís Corner: Buckle up, the tarpon are here

Tarpon season is here, and the fish are showing up in numbers along the beaches. While there have been tarpon in the bays and backwaters for awhile, there were very few schools cruising the coast until a few days ago. Then, seemingly overnight, big p...
Published: 05/11/18

Captainís Corner: Here come the tarpon

Itís hot, the water temperatureís right and itís May. That means itís Tarpon Time! Aprilís full moon seemed to have opened the flood gates for tarpon arriving in our area. Weíve observed some at the Sunshine Skyway bridge for a couple weeks. On a few...
Published: 05/07/18

Captainís Corner: Swash channel is full of life

Offshore winds the past week cleaned beach waters to that pretty shade of blue we often have this time of year. The swash channel is full of life as schools of finger mullet, whiting and threadfin herring go in and out with the tide, and schools of p...
Published: 05/05/18
Updated: 05/06/18
Captainís Corner: Fish return to normal migration pattern in North Pinellas

Captainís Corner: Fish return to normal migration pattern in North Pinellas

Warm weather has stabilized water temperatures, sending many fish into their normal pattern of migration in North Pinellas. Every year, large female snook start to trickle out to the west along the beaches, a few yards from unsuspecting sunbathers. S...
Updated one month ago