Tampa Bay Fishing Reports
March-April- May- June Fishing Report
February finished up on a warn note after 2 or 3 cold fronts pushed the water temps down. Fishing the week of the 19th thru 25th the reds and trout started moving. Doug Flagg from Canada managed to catch 4 nice reds on fly in the Ft DeSota area. Brian and Ed Bergin wanted to go trout fishing, so we headed to St Joesph Sound and fished the spoil islands off Crystal Beach. Using deep water Clouser minnows in all white and white/ chartreuse, we managed to catch over 100 trout fishing on the Northwest corner of the islands. Herny and Chris Cushman had a 60 red fish day using live shrimp and fishing the mangos and oyster bars in the Ft. De Sota park area. RL Hock from Nashville was in town for a couple days of fishing. With wind, fog, rain and a cold front, we still had two great days of red fishing. For two days we sat on a school of about 800 hundred reds that looked like they just came in from the gulf. When you go through 15 doz. Shrimp a day, you know fishing is good.
March is the month the water starts to warn up and the bait moves in on the flats. Look for the red fish to bunch up for the spawn, with some schools as big as 1000 fish. I saw a school on February 25 th with 5 to 6 hundred in it. Blue fish have moved in at the mouth of the Tampa Bay with some mackeral . With this migration along the coast expect to see a few tarpon and kingfish and cobia.
April all hell breaks lose. The kingfish and mackeral run is in full steam on the beach. Expect large numbers of tarpon to show up at all the bay bridges for the live baiters. Cobia move on the flats and start tailing around large stingrays in search for crabs and shrimp. They can be caught on fly or bait. If the water warm up on the beach we will start to see tarpon on the outside sand bars on the gulf beaches, this some of the best fly fish in Florida. Everything moves up on the flats and red fish schools are still growing. You can also see permit mixed in with the schools on occation .
May: The only thing to say about May is Homosassa giant tarpon. This truly is the place to catch a super size tarpon on fly. The top 4 fly caught tarpon have been caught their, 202 lb, 191lb, 188lb, 177lb. There is also plenty tarpon along the beach. Permit are schooled off shore on the 2 and 4mile reef. Reds are still on the flats in number but slide out to the edge of the flat when water gets hot.
June: As the tarpon leave the Homosassa flat the fly fishing guides come back to Clearwater and St. Pete to fish the beaches. Now with the water temps up the reds come on the flats early and late in the day. Mackeral ,blue fish and lady fish will be in the bait schools. Look for cobia in with the stingrays and on the channel markers. Trout will be in the deeper holes.
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