Summer is in full swing and there’s never been a better time to spend a day or an evening on the sparkling waters of the Gulf. The scenic South Shore is known as one of Tampa Bay’s premier fishing spots, so come on down and cast a line. Check out what local anglers are catching right now:
Gulf Gag Grouper
Gag grouper opened for business on July 1, and there’s still plenty of time to get in on some early season grouper action. Big fish are biting in the deeper waters in the Bay around structure and along the edges of the shipping channels.
Redfish and Trout
Trout and redfish are holding steady on the grass flats throughout the bay. Anglers are fighting and landing the Gulf’s most popular game fish on both lures and live bait, with whitebait and shrimp continuing to produce the most fish.
Spanish mackerel are plentiful right now and hitting hard around the radio towers in the Bay, where they hang out looking for schools of baitfish. Toss in a frozen chum block to get them moving toward the surface and cast away.
Tarpon fishing was going strong in the Gulf before Tropical Storm Debby arrived. The storm slowed the action on tarpon fishing until the weather and the water cleared up. The last week or so we’re starting to see anglers landing tarpon again, and there’s a good chance more will come back as the season progresses.
After the freeze of 2010, the snook fishery was closed due to die-off, but now some legal-sized snook are being caught in the Bay. Even though the fishery is still closed and snook are catch-and-release only, it looks like the snook population may finally be bouncing back from the cold kill.