June was an absolute amazing month with tons of monster tarpon and giant snook caught along beautiful Clearwater Beach. July is here which means time to switch gears to big breeder black drum along the bay bridges. Along with fishing shady mangroves lines for beautiful redfish, snook, trout, and a variety of other species that will be eagerly waiting to smash a fresh lively bait. If you always wanted to experience the fishing on the west coast Florida, then now is the time to Book!!!
February has been nothing short of spectacular so far this month. With such abnormal temperatures it has felt more like spring and the fish are feeling the same way. Speckled Trout have been concreted in large numbers over the grass spot holes and has made for some outstanding fishing. 1/4 oz jig head with a dark green body has been the ticket or live shrimp under a float with a 2/0 circle hook on 20 lb leader. Redfish are starting to show up in large numbers and have been best on high water. Look for them to be feeding around rocky shore lines and oyster bars mix in with the mullet. Cut bait has seem to be the best ticket for plucking them out of the mullet. Spring is right around the corner so Book Your Trip Now so your not left at the dock!!!! Come in enjoy the pristine flats that the Clearwater water area has to offer!!
check me out on Facebook at Fish Tampa Flats or at www.fishtampaflats.com. With that said Tight Lines and Screamin Reels’ Capt. WillIiam Burbach
Rain, Rain, And More Rain!!!!!! That seem to be the norm especially the towards the end of August. One nice thing about all that rain was it cooled the water down. Which made the fish chew a little bit better then normal last month. As we move into September hopefully we will see clam days and just afternoon shower. As far as the fishing goes I have been targeting juvenile tarpon, snook, and redfish.
Juvenile tarpon are by far my favorite species to catch. They are super aggressive if fished properly and will but on one heck of a show!!!!! You can find these sneaky little guys in Gulf Harbors channels or the Anclote river. What you will want to do is get out early and mean super early. As in when the light just starting to show on the horizon. You will want to be as quite as possible and watch from rolling fish. They tend to hang out in died spots in the tide flow. What I mean by died spot is were their is some kind of obstruction, whether that be a bend in the river, or a set of docks or were the seawall sticks out. Prefer bait in my arsenal is a EXUDE DART in the natural shrimp color on a 1/8 jighead, followed up by 30lb Yo-Zuri H.D. Flurocarbon. I like to use a very fast retrieve, in which will create more hits due to reaction bites. Just remember its about the hunt, half the battles finding them and the other half’s getting them to eat.
Snook bite has been very consistent due to the water being a little cooler and all the rain run off. This has also helped push most of the snook towards the mouth of the creeks and esturias. Along with the fact that we are starting to move into the transition stage, when the snook start to slowly migrate back into the backcountry. The spoil island around the mouth of Anclote river , on the deep sides have been holding large numbers of snook. Also the creeks and small estuaries north of the river have been productive. I like to use live plicards, 2-3 feet under a cork. Incoming tide you will want to target the oyster bars, along with fishing tight to the mangroves. Outgoing tide look for these fish to be staging were on the drop offs or were their is a break in the tide.
Redfish are starting to get into the big schools that we tend to start seeing at the later part of the month. Look for these fish to be around Anclote Island, working the flats on incoming water. Also as the tide start to peak they will be foraging up under the mangroves. Bait of choice is cut pinfish or again live pilchard under a cork. The key ingredient is locating the mullet, as the mullet work across the flat the stir all kinds of small bait fish and crabs along their way. Which in return makes for a easy opportunity for a redfish. Again the same goes for when they are up under the trees. For artificial guys again I like to throw a Exude DART in golden bream or natural shrimp, with a slower presentation. Topwater can be super productive at first day break fishing mullet schools. Just remember to handle all these fish with care.
Tight Lines and Screamin Reels!!!!! Remember follow me on instagram/Facebook at FishTampaFlats for weekly reports. Also check out my web page at FishTampaFlats.com
July!!! What can you say but HOT!!! Thou the bite manage to stay pretty constant first thing in the morning and the later part of the day. It was overall a decent month. August will be a bit slower, due to the hotter water temps and all the fresh water. There are a lot of different seasons going on in the State of Florida this month. First one is scallop season and the second is grouper season.
Scallops season open up last month and there has been reports of huge numbers of scallops being caught in the Hernando County area. Scalloping is a great way to get the family all together and have some fun. Doesn’t matter what age, everyone one can do it and have success at it. There are a couple key things you will need and know to have a successful day. One is make sure that you are north of the Hernando county line. State regulations only allow you to harvest scallops north of Hernando. Also that you harvest no more than 2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell, or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person. Maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell, or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel. You will need to invest in a dive flag and display were it is visible from every angle. Also remember that it has to be displayed anytime that someone is in the water. Last but not least is snorkel gear what constant of a mask, snorkel, and a good pair of
Grouper!!! What can you say but absolutely crazy!!!! Grouper are everywhere right now, from shallow inshore wrecks to deep offshore wrecks. They are being caught on everything, from livebait, to jigs, and even trolling plugs. Doesn’t really matter what you put in front of them right now, they will eat it. The hottest area right now has been in about 50 to 80 feet of water. Most guys are focusing on live bottom and local wrecks. Dropping large pinfish and grunts have been producing the bigger fish. Remember that this time of year the weather is very unpredictable. So keep your eye on the weather so that a successful day doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
Inshore fishing will be a bit difficult due to the water temp being so high and all the fresh water runoff. First thing in the morning will be your best bet for success. Whitebait and pinfish are my two choices for bait. Look for the deeper drop-offs on the grass flats with good water flow. Fish tend to prefer this are due to the water is a bit cooler. For artificial use a jig preferable a quarter ounce with anything in a lighter color like white, clear, and silver. Work the drop offs and any little eddy you can find.
There’s not much of a change in February compared to last month when it comes to fishing Tampa Bay Flats. One of the biggest changes you will notice is even more cool weather moving in from the north and the extreme negative tides that we get this month. Negative tides occur more often this month due to the way the earth spins on its axis this time of year. Fishing low tides can be super productive for trout redfish and snook if fished properly. There are a few key ways that will produce trophy size fish on even the coldest day and the lowest tides in Tampa bay area.
The first thing that you will want to do is figure out what area you will be fishing. What I mean by this is are you going to try and fish one of the rivers, flats, or a resident canal. All these areas can and will produce quality and quantity of fish, if fished properly. To start off with, say you were fishing a flat what you will want to do this time of year is look for the natural creeks that run off the flat. They usually tend to have a big deep pot hole or deep hole somewhere along its path. This is where you will find the fish stacked up, especially if the surrounding flat is dry. If you decide you want to fish the river or residential canal you will want to look for the deepest part of the channel you can find. Another good area is where a canal or a finger of the river runs into the main part of the river or main channel. These spots make for easy picking for the fish as the bait gets flushed by them. Once you have located an area that is
similar to the ones that I have been describing, you can pretty much throw anything in there from pinfish to shrimp and even your favorite artificial. One of my go that baits is Exude natural shrimp on a 1/4 jig head tied to 20lb Yo-Zuri fluorocarbon leader.These fish aren’t picky at all, they got one thing on their mind and that’s food. The best part about fishing this deep holes is they variety of fish you can catch. You might be fishing one and catching nothing but trout and ladyfish and then move to the next one and catching nothing but redfish or snook. It is definitely a hit and miss game, but can be super rewarding. Remember as the water temp drops the fish will move further and further back up the canals and rivers in seek of warm water.
Take these tools to the water and I can guarantee you will have one great day of fishing! Just remember to slow down when you are looking for these holes and creeks, because there may be rocks or manatees laying in these same areas on low tides. Also watch to make sure that you don’t get stuck back up in a hole because the tide has gotten too low for your boat to get out. To get a week to week fishing report check me out on Facebook at Fish Tampa Flats or at www.fishtampaflats.com. With that said Tight Lines and Screamin Reels’ Capt. WillIiam Burbach
This month should also bring us nice increases of redfish in our local area. The last couple months have been a little slower than normal for Redfish, but should increase nicely. You will want to target these fish on high water, where they will be mixed up with the mullet. Cut bait will be your best option this time of year, unless you can get your hands on whitebait (pilchards). What you will want to do is figure out the direction in which the mullet are traveling. Once you have figured out their path get your baits out in front of them and hold on.
The offshore bite has been very consistent. Bonita and Spanish mackerel have been on fire on the local wrecks. Your best bet for getting these fish to double over your rod and make your reel scream is trolling. I prefer to troll the Yo-Zuri crystal minnow. Don’t be shocked if you hook into a smoker kingfish or even a big AJ. Bottom fishing has been producing quality numbers also. From Grouper to Amberjack with even the occasional Cobia, live pinfish and grunts have been producing the best quality fish. Just remember that Gag Grouper season is still closed and that all Gag Grouper should be vented and returned to the water quickly. With that said tight lines and Screamin’ Reels! You can also check weekly reports of my web page www.fishtampaflats.com and on facebook page fishtampaflats.
Captain Will Burbach