Thankfully, so far this hurricane season Florida has been spared. However, with Ida sliding by Florida’s west coast it did bring surf, bands of rain, and wind, which may have blown some Red Tide blooms back into our region. There have been some reports since Ida that the coastline is registering blooms and the blooms have brought back some of the stench, although there have not been too many reports of dead fish, which is a positive.
The Bay is looking clean and clear over these last few weeks with the snook and trout bite remaining steady for summer as the inshore redfish bite starting to take off as we get closer to fall. Soon we will have a steady concentration of big bull redfish moving throughout the deeper parts of the bay and passes as they spawn. Live shrimp has been an easy ticket to a good day inshore in Tampa Bay as the sheepshead are getting plentiful, the snapper have been firing off, and the snook, redfish, and trout are happy to find an easy meal drifting through the current. Bait around Tampa Bay has been tough for the past several weeks but we are now starting to find bigger concentrations of “fishable” pilchards as the fry bait continues to grow.
The tide has been forcefully moving as it typically does in the summer, which makes for great fishing at both the end of incoming and beginning of outgoing. As the water begins to fill up the mangroves for high tide it’s a great time to pitch baits around the trees and points of islands where the current gets swept through and with it a continual flow of bait and nutrients for predators. Fish the up-current side and drift your baits through those ambush points and corners until the water is just about touching the hanging mangrove limbs and then try your luck skipping baits under the limbs into the shadows when the sun gets up high. High tide is a perfect time for cut bait such as ladyfish, pinfish, and mullet making them a great alternative if you’re confident fish are moving through the area but using the cover of the mangroves for protection. As the tide flips and begins to move out, work your way out of that area with the tide and you will continue to find fish exiting the area making their way to deeper pockets and passes.
Get geared up for the Fall KOB!
The Suzuki Repower Fishing Report is sponsored by Mastry Suzuki Repower
Hi – I’m Captain Skylar Wilks and I am a full-time Tampa Bay Inshore Guide, residing in Madeira Beach. I grew up spending my weekends and summers fishing with my Grandparents who live across the street from the Madeira Beach Marina. In 2011, I moved a bit further south to Fort Myers and attended Florida Gulf Coast University, with a scholarship to play Division 1 soccer. When I wasn’t playing soccer, I was spending my time learning the waters and fishing in Sanibel, Estero Bay, and the Naples area. In 2015, I graduated with a degree in Business Management and moved back to Madeira Beach to launch my fishing business, Inspired Fishing Charters.