Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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


Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is fast approaching

Spring is trying to move in, with just a few cold fronts mixed in. The up-and-down air temperatures will slightly affect the water temperature and also affect the fishing. Fishing has been mostly incredible in North Pinellas. All of the species we ex...
Published: 03/18/18
Updated: 03/19/18

Captainís Corner: Cold causes spiny lobsters to go into hiding

The cold front that ended Wednesday drove the offshore bottom temperatures back down into the low 60s. On dives Friday, my dive computer read 62 degrees at the bottom in 54 feet of water. On the next dive it read 60 in 62 feet. We were looking for ho...
Published: 03/18/18

Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

Surface water temperatures have dipped into the low 60s, but the fish donít seem to mind. The longer days get the temperature up and helps keep it from getting into the danger zone at night. Snook have been the hot bite this past week and, believe it...
Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/17/18

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