Waiting on the Weather to Fish

nearshore hogfish

Hogfish are biting well still near shore, but the trick right now is finding the weather to get out there to the fish. We are getting a small weather window today and then again Sunday and Monday and I would bet the BEST time to go get em will be Monday because that will give the most amount of time for the water to calm down and clear up and barometer to stabilize and it will be right ahead of the next incoming weather disturbance which will hopefully have the hogfish foaming near shore! The best area to target the hogfish is around 40-70 foot of water but you can catch them as shallow as around 30 foot and we see them fairly consistently up to around 90 foot of water. We even catch them offshore in deeper waters in excess of 120 foot but they become much more difficult to target as you get deeper on hook and line because theres often so many more aggressive fish around ready to eat your bait. This is why we seem to catch the most of them around 40-70 foot of water using around 1-2 inch pieces of live shrimp or fresh dead shrimp. Avoid using frozen shrimp or anything that’s been dead long enough to turn pink. These guys like the fresh dead shrimp or live shrimp with the most natural coloration. Lightest tackle you can muster around 30lb floro and 3-4ot hooks with lighter lead around ¾ – 1oz is best. I prefer to knocker rig for them myself, but we have tons of success using the nekid ball jigz or even jig heads for these hogfish.
We are also seeing plenty of mangrove snapper around 60-100 foot of water and around that area some really nice lane snapper numbers too. Great time to get out there and target hogfish while enjoying a nice side of mangrove snapper and lane snapper and tons of the great eating grey snapper or white grunts.

While nearshore, don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for floating debris because we are seeing plenty of triple tail near shore under floating debris and crab trap buoys. The weather needs to be a little clearer to spot them easily but we should get this opportunity by the start of this coming week.

There’s some nice numbers of mackerel around just off the beach into the near shore waters right now. Plenty of big bait schools around that are making these mackerel feed aggressively and it makes it super easy to find them in cooperative aggregations.

Also, we are seeing tons of sheepshead near shore around the artificial reefs and large rock pile and ledge areas. These guys are out there in spawning aggregations so you can find some massive sheepshead by happenstance while targeting hogfish or snapper.

Don’t forget the redfish, too! These guys head offshore in huge schools to spawn off the beaches 3-50 miles. We have seen these schools as deep as 150 foot of water offshore but they are mostly spotted right on the beach up to around 15 miles. Keep in mind these are spawning aggregations so we often try to avoid them and don’t target them but occasionally you can’t avoid them. We often find that when were anchored up fishing near shore and one of these schools passes close by they will inundate our boat trying to steal all the food they can allowing us some fun catch and release fishing in the meantime but you got to make sure to hook and release them as quickly as you can not causing undue stress or harm to a fish in the process of proliferating a species that is in some trouble.

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snappers inshore
  • Nearshore ·

Hungry Fish Nearshore

The fish were hungry and waiting for us to return at the start of the week. Later this past week we faced rough weather Thursday due to the front and the Tuesday all day had a little slower bite than we would have liked but we still caught some great fish.
snapper fishing tampa
  • Offshore ·

Good Snapper Fishing Offshore

The current on the full moon created some issues when we were in the Deepwater trying to catch our amberjacks Wednesday, but luckily with an adjustment into shallower waters we were able to continue red grouper hunting with great success.
tampa redfish
  • Inshore ·

Great Action Before Full Moon

This past week brought some great action inshore especially at the start of the week before the full moon and front that moved by yesterday.
  • Offshore ·

Triggerfish Harvest Upcoming

Triggerfish are getting ready to close for harvest starting May 2nd making end of day May first the last time to land them for 2020, unless the season gets extended due to lack of quota being landed.
flounder fishing
  • Inshore ·

Snook Action Heats Up

Snook action continues to heat up as summer approaches with lots of snook moving into the passes and onto the beaches.
mangrove snapper fishing
  • Offshore ·

Good Snapper Fishing this Time of Year

Snapper action is great this time of year offshore. Now that were past the full moon were starting to see some good day time snapper action, plus this week’s overcast conditions definitely help the daytime snapper bite.
kingfish nearshore tampa
  • Nearshore ·

Great Kingfish Action Nearshore

Kingfish action has been great near shore lately and there is plenty of mackerel around too mixed in among the kings. From the Skyway all the way out of the shipping channel is a great spot to start looking for the bait schools. However, simply trolling around the channel will work well to produce plenty of mackerel and some nice kingfish too.
redfish tampa inshore
  • Inshore ·

Great Fishing Inshore Despite COVID-19

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!
mangrove snapper
  • Offshore ·

Snapper Excited by Full Moon

The Snapper action offshore this week, like near shore, was excited by that full moon. The nighttime fishing around 1-2 days ahead of the full moon is my favorite followed by a few days behind the moon.
blackfin tuna
  • Nearshore ·

Tampa Nearshore Report

Hogfish are still biting near shore around 30-70ft of water. They have definitely slowed a bit from the cooler moths, but there’s still a decent chance of finding a few ready to eat near shore.