Great Fishing Inshore Despite COVID-19

redfish tampa inshore
04/17/2020

We are unfortunately closed due to the COVID-19 issues around our area, and we will remain closed through April. Tentatively planning and hoping to Open up Friday May 1st but time will tell. However, we still have some great fishing report information from our area to share with you guys!

Snook have been biting really well this past week around the passes, jetties and beaches. Plus, we have seen some great action with the snook around the flats and mangrove shorelines as well. These guys seem excited with the fluctuating weather and pressure changes. The wind and weather has made it a little difficult to get out there to target them but the anglers from shore around the passes have done very well in the early morning hours and just around sunrise with soft plastics, flairhawks, and jerk baits targeting passing snook. Live white bait or soft plastics seem to be the popular bite on the flats or mangrove shorelines for snook. Great time to get out on the water and catch and release a few snook. Remember that snook, redfish and trout remain catch and release only for our central west Florida area until end of May 2021.

Redfish action has been steady this past week again around the flats, mangrove shorelines, and especially docks. Flipping a soft plastic white paddletail under a dock with a 1/8th oz jig head retrieving slow with the occasional pop and pause has worked really well to produce some good redfish action. These fish love hanging adjacent to structures like oyster bars, docks, shorelines, or natural cover on the flats like potholes or drop offs. There seems to be lots of bait around right now, so they are fired up feeding hard.

Trout bite continues to be impressive this past week with some real monsters coming up along the flats, beaches, passes and docks. One of the largest trout I have seen was caught this past week just past the surf on the beach using a live greenback for bait and super light tackle by a family having some fun fishing on their private slice of beach. Also, some happy anglers around the area are seeing some big speckled trout around the bridges and docks of the passes this past week too! The nighttime trout action in the lights of the bridges and docks has been really good with them tearing up all the bait that’s been hanging in the passes.

Black drum have been biting pretty well around the local docks and bridges. These guys are similar to sheepshead in that they hang on the structures and they like crustaceans like big shrimp or crabs. Typically, they are right on the bottom feeding opportunistically on what makes an easy meal and they can get really big too!

Mackerel action has been really good around the passes, mouth of the bay and along our beaches. These guys are fun to catch and are good eating if you bleed them and eat them fresh. You can find them easily by looking for the bait which is easy to spot from the birds actively feeding on them. Plus, all you need is a flashy lure retrieved quickly on the edges of the bait school for a few nice hookups and big runs.
Pompano have been pretty prolific around the sandy areas of the local passes and along our beaches. Docs goofy jigs, nekid ball jigz or pompano jigs are great options for these fish. You can catch em using live sand fleas and occasionally small to medium sized shrimp too. They move around a lot and can be difficult to stay on top of, but they are great eating fish!

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