If you live anywhere near Tampa Bay, then the fishing is absolutely amazing right now!

The local canals and rivers seem to have an abundance of trout and the locals are easily catching double-digit numbers of them.  Along with that, the Snook are also plentiful, tearing into the bait under the dock lights.

Flocks of birds over fish that are crashing bait is common. Boaters are catching mackerel, one spoon cast after another. And when the schools are jacks, it can even be more fun. The surprise to me was some of the schools were big tuna.

Now “big” is relative but bonito schools have come up into the bay. If you like to fight jacks, they are there. If you like to fight something that can be more violent than jacks, the ‘Little Tunny’ bonito is a tuna that will flat out “light you up.”

My surprise is two-fold. I ran into multiple schools of them while expecting mackerel. Then after changing from spoons to small jigs, I was able to hook them in large sizes. I’m excited reminding myself of the fun just by telling you this.

Another bonus that has been here awhile is the continued quantity and size of our local mangrove snapper. Couple them with big grunts and you can take the wife and family out to do some catching with a good expectation of success. Anchor over rock piles, along channel edges or near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and it will be on…..

Use small hooks, 20-pound leader, enough weight away from the hook and no swivels or wire leaders for the missus or kids. Make the effort to guide newbies to quality rigs that fish are not shy to hit. All of you should be catching right now. The bite is that good.

As predicted, local grouper fishing has really picked up and should continue right through the early December closure. During one two-hour period recently, I released as many as 20 short gags. Lots of fish are here.

Source: The Tampa Tribune


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