Summer’s heat and Thunderstorms will have a direct impact on the times I go fishing, couple that with the Red Tide that hit Tampa Bay this season and I think I will take some time away from fishing to enjoy other Florida activities. For those that do want to fish, there are plenty of fish to go around; you just have to know where to go. I usually start a little earlier in the day and finish before the afternoon storms roll across the state. This keeps me dry, a little cooler, and I do avoid the lighting strikes that come with the afternoon boomers. During times of red tide, I look for clean water that is absent of floating fish. Trust me, the red tide is bad, but it does not cover all the waters of Tampa Bay. Snook, trout redfish, and mackerel are great species to target in the summer months, but you have to be patient. With water temperatures in the 90’s the bite can be a little slow.
The snook bite has been consistent throughout June, and I see no reason for that to change. This is the time of year snook spawn and becomes a bit harder to catch. Try fishing areas around spoil islands that dot Tampa Bay. Snook will typically frequent the edge of a shallow area where it drops off to deeper water or along the beaches near deeper passes. The snook spawn will start to wind down towards the end of July, and snook will begin their migration back to the grass flats, and barrier island passes.
The trout bite has been relatively slow this past month, and I would expect that trend to continue throughout the summer. Look for trout in the deeper flats and around deeper structures where the water will be a little cooler. I also expect to see a lot smaller trout as we head into the deep summer patterns. Shrimp or sardines will be the bait of choice. Try fishing trout on some of the shallower rock piles located in the open bay waters with a depth of 6 to 12 feet. You just might be surprised and find trout in spots you would not think of as being a trout spot.
The Southshore’s grass flats should be holding schools of Redfish. A good technique for targeting redfish is to wait for a high tide and toss your bait under the mangroves. Try using cut ladyfish on a jig head. The water is a little cooler in the shade of the mangrove, and sometimes just a degree or two make all the difference.
Mackerel fishing has been good through the month of June, and I expect to see this trend continue throughout the rest of the summer. I like using whitebait both on a hook and as chum. I use a 3x # 1/0 long shank hooks and 50# leader to help to improve the catch ratio, but I still expect the toothy critters to eat through the leader.
Tarpon showed up early this year, and it appears that we are now on the downside of the season. The early morning bite has been off but better in the late afternoon outgoing tide. Pinfish, Pass Crabs, and big Thread Fins Hearing are the baits of choice. In July, expect to see some of the Tarpon move north into the northern areas of Tampa Bay. Tarpon are a great fish to catch, so enjoy them while they are here.
Capt. Danny Guarino a lifelong resident of the Tampa area and a semi-retired fishing guide on Tampa Bay. If you are looking to hire a Charter Captain in the Tampa Bay area, give Capt. Danny a call. He has an extensive network of long-term proven Tampa Bay Fishing Guides; all are insured and licensed. Let Capt. Danny take the guesswork out of finding a fishing guide.
You can contact Captain Danny Guarino at 813-956-2010 or SHPOINT@AOL.COM
Matthew and Patrick Latzanich both from Ruskin, Florida with 2 snook caught while fishing the Southshore with their stepdad Capt. Danny Guarino
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