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Captain Travis – Tampa Bay Fishing Report – May 2022

We’re on the brink of the real heat!

The old saying is “April showers bring May flowers” but it’s been a fairly dry Spring and I don’t get to see many flowers on the water. What I can tell you is it’s really starting to heat up, white butterflies are out, and I have been seeing some love bugs – Summer is upon us. Despite recent cooling North winds, the bay is heating up into the 90’s and we will begin our transition to a bit more “bay” fishing in the coming weeks. Tarpon, Sharks, Snapper, Grouper, Cobia as well as a few others will all be on the hit list.

As we begin to turn the page on the inshore Spring bite, the shallows have still been treating us well. Snook in our area particularly have remained strong with Redfish keeping up pace as also. Believe it or not, we have also had a late run of trout fishing that has kept the rods bent and captured a couple wins in some recent corporate slam tournaments.

For Snook, they have certainly been keyed in on the tides. It really doesn’t matter which cycle just moving water has been crucial to getting a good bite going, especially for live bait. Swash points and deep shorelines have been the target zones and when they are acting a little stubborn, try soaking a dead bait in the area and you might be surprised how quickly things can turn around for you. As the water heats up, the fish’s metabolism will change and they will tend to eat a bait off the bottom as opposed to chasing live prey. The Redfish are following the same bait pattern and can be found deeper in the bushes than you may expect. As we approach Summer, we will begin to experience some higher tides allowing them to get to areas thick in the cover. They more shade and water depth, the better. Try using a 3-4” live pinfish, free-line, with a tail hook. Pitch it up on the edge of the mangroves and allow it to swim underneath. Be ready to keep the rod tip low and go to battle.

If chasing some bigger fish is in your wheelhouse, now is the time. We have started bringing the bigger gear and starting to play with some Tarpon and other bay monsters. In the coming weeks, we will be spending most of our time in the depths of the bay. Our primary focus will be Tarpon on the stronger tides and Grouper and Snapper on the weaker tides. As the main push of Tarpon make their migration up the coast, our Gulf beaches will be ground zero for catching the Silver King. Over the next few months pods of fish will invade the bay gorging on Threadfin Herring and Crabs as they prepare for their annual spawning activities. Gag Grouper season starts June 1 and we are already seeing signs of some quality fish in the area and the Mangrove Snapper bite is already turning on. Expect to start seeing some bigger fish come over the rails as they begin to congregate for their Summer spawn as well. Shallow water wrecks, reefs, and channel edges will begin to stack up through the next few moon cycles.

The Suzuki Repower Fishing Report is sponsored by Suzuki Repower and Mastry Engine Center.

Capt. Travis Yaeckel
Instinct Fishing Co.
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Stay dialed-in to what’s biting in Tampa Bay! Capt. Travis Yaeckel, Capt. Jason Prieto, Capt. Ric Liles, & Danny Guarino bring you the full report each week. Listen every Sunday Morning 8-9am on 1040AM ESPN Sports Talk Radio. Watch LIVE on Facebook and YouTube every Wednesday 6-7pm. Or download the podomatic app on your phone or tablet and listen anytime. Search “ Tampa Fishing Outfitters Radio Show “ to follow us and find current and past shows.

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