September and the rain continues but I am hoping by months end we see a little relief. We still must contend with the 90 plus degree air temperatures and high humidity but not the flooding rains. Please do drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. The heat in September can be stifling.
This past August, on the days it did not rain, it was hot and humid but most days we had a stiff breeze to help keep the temperature in check. Unfortunately, the breeze came out of the southwest making fishing the Southshore a bit difficult. In spite of the weather, fishing has been good, and I expect that to continue if not improve as we get later into September.
Redfish made an appearance in mid-August and have been moving up and down the grass flats from Apollo Beach south to Port Manatee. Particularly good catch Reports have come in from the local captains that are in my network. Captain Jason Prieto reported catching and releasing more than 20 redfish on the last day of August fishing north of Ruskin.
The Snook bite has been a bit slow throughout August, but the ones caught where are on the smaller side. Snook season is closed in the Tampa Bay region so only catch and release for now and carefully return all snook back to the water.
The trout bite has also been slow in August and I expect it to continue as we move into the fall months. I still like to find grass in the 4-foot plus depth range. I fish trout with a popping cork using shrimp or free lining with white bait.
Mangrove snapper started off with a bang back in June and has continued to be good through August. Mangrove snappers tend to school on a deeper structure this time of year. Some of the best mangrove snapper fishing is done on the artificial reefs just west of Simmons Park and Port Manatee. July and August are the 2 peak months to target this overlooked species but sometimes September can be just as good. 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 is some big snapper in the bay this year. Did you know that mangrove snapper in the offshore waters are called Grey Snapper?
September sometimes can be a slow month for fishing but if you use a few tricks you just might improve your catch ratio. None the less, it is still good to get out on the water and experience this beautiful area we live in. Sometimes fishing is just the reason used to spend time with friends and family. Catching fish is a bonus!
Capt. Danny Guarino a lifelong resident of the Tampa area and semi-retired fishing guide on Tampa Bay. 813-956-2010
Capt. Danny Guarino
D.R. Guarino Charters
Captain Dan Ranker from Orlando, fishing with Capt. Danny on a past Southshore fishing trip.