Last Updated on May 6, 2022 by Capt. Bucky
This spring has been a challenge to say the least. It seemed like the wind would never stop blowing. One day it would be beautiful with light winds and perfect temperatures. The next week it would be blowing 15 to 25mph from the north, bringing with it cold temps and low water levels. Strong north east winds were pushing the water right out of the bay and dropping the water levels to the point where it would be hard to find a place to fish and if you did there would be several other guys trying to fish the same water. We also had a lot of late season cold fronts and that didn’t help put too much either. That made the bait go crazy. One day they would be on the flats, the next day gone and holding in deep water or in and around the bridges in deeper water. Then the current be ripping so hard you could hardly get your new down in time. Even with all these factors the fishing remained to be steady. Still some days they would be hungry, the next few you’d struggle to get a bite. Well thank God that is over. Late Spring is here, finally, beside the occasional windy day and random storms the weather has been consistent the last week or so. The bait is moving into the bay in a big way. The presence of bait fish on the flats coupled with some higher water levels have brought the fish out of the wood works. The snook bite is strong with some occasional giant fish roaming around. I think the key to snook is having that moving water and a place where they can lay in ambush for bait being pushed by the tides. Trout bite in the upper bay is ok right now, but there seems to be a lot of fish down south and hopefully they will make their way up into the north part of the bay. The redfish bite remains amazing and it is only going to get better and better, and stay that way all the way through the fall. As long as the water levels are not too low the fish should be happy. High water days I will be looking to pound the mangrove shorelines and even try to get bait under the overhanging branches. The fish will move out as the tide drops making them a little easier to see and catch. We have been catching quite a few fish in the mid 30” range and lost an absolute giant the other day on a hook pull. Tarpon are starting to show up off the beaches and around the skyway and hopefully they will push up into the bay like they have in years past. Last year was an exception. The piney point disaster which caused a significant red tide bloom kept a lot of fish from entering the bay. Places where I have seen hundreds in years past, I didn’t see a single fish. We caught one a few days ago and that tells me its going to be a good summer as far as tarpon go! Jacks have been reaping havoc all over the flats and there is no telling when a big school or a drag screamer will come through. Just hold on tight and always be ready. If you are looking to book a Tampa Bay fishing charter, now is the time. I can’t wait to see what this summer will have in store. Hopefully the bite will be as hot as the weather! Book your adventure today!