By: Captain Danny Guarino
Living in this area my whole life, I have come to appreciate and look forward to the cooling effects of our afternoon thunderstorms. I also hold a lot of respect for the lighting danger that accompanies each storm. I keep a watchful eye to the sky and take no chances when I hear thunder.
May’s usually warm weather has slowed the fishing action down just a bit, Snook, Trout and Redfish bite has been good but not great. Tides always play an important role in saltwater fishing. If you can fish when there is good tidal flow. This will improve your chances to catch fish
As the water temperatures of summer rise, trout will move into the deeper grass beds where the water will be a little cooler. I expect the trout bite will be a bit on the slow side. When I target trout this time of year I like to fish early when the water temperatures are at their coolest. Try using live bait under a bobber. The bobber will tend to slow the bait down as well as keep it in the water column just above the grass
This has been a good year for Redfish on the Southshore but as we progressed through May the bite seemed to slow down. The Redfish schools had been on the shallow grass flats on the top of the outgoing tides. As the water temperatures rise into the mid 80’s I would expect the redfish to move off the grass flats seeking cooler water in the shade of the mangrove trees that line the shoreline. Try using cut bait tossed under the mangroves. Cut lady fish and thread fin hearing work best
Mackerel have been a bit of a disappointment in May. Although, we have been catching mackerel through the spring, we are not seeing the numbers that we have seen in past months. When fishing mackerel use scaled sardines for both bait on a hook and as chum.
Tarpon started showing up in April in small numbers but as we moved through May the large migratory schools arrived and should hang around well into June. Try fishing Tarpon by free lining a big thread fin herring or a nice big pin fish near the Skyway Bridge make sure you use a rod and reel that can handle the punishment a Tarpon can deliver.
Mangrove snapper have started to show up in big numbers on the deeper structures and the artificial reefs of Tampa Bay. June is one of the best times of year to target this overlooked species. All it takes to catch these tasty fish is to find some structure in deeper water and send down a small shrimp on a number 2 hook. Hold on there are some big snapper in the bay this year!
This time of year, I like to mix it up by targeting Snook Redfish and Trout on the flats and Spanish mackerel in open Bay waters. White bait will be my bait of choice. White bait is on the grass flats just about anywhere you go on the Southshore.
Remember it’s summer please use your sunscreen, drink plenty of water and keep an eye out for the thunderstorms.
Capt. Danny Guarino a lifelong resident of the Tampa area and retired fishing guide on Tampa Bay. 813-956-2010
Be safe out there
Capt. Danny Guarino
Capt. Danny Guarino with a nice Tampa Bay Red Fish caught on the Southshore of Tampa Bay