May-June Tampa Bay Fishing Report

May-June Tampa Bay Fishing Report

Last Updated on June 13, 2024 by Capt. Bucky

The month of May here in Tampa Bay was incredible for fishing. The water temps are rising into the low to mid 80s. The white bait and over abundance of pinfish have invaded the flats. Getting bait has been fairly easy, especially when the tide is moving and you have a little wind at your back. June has been steady so far. We have been in a serious drought and I think that we will benefit from some major rain. I believe it will draw these fish out from deep in the mangroves. Rain will cool of the water and allow for the algae to start to flourish. Typically, we have blooms in the summer and that makes the water a little cloudy, letting these fish feel more comfortable being out on the flats.

First thing I should mention is the snook fishing. The snook bite has been better than I have seen it for the past 2 to 3 years. Plus, the number of bigger snook around is a great sight to see. We are heading into their summer spawn and the larger females are making themselves seen. Biggest we caught so far has been 36”, but we lost a few pushing 40” and have seen some absolute giants. Big snook don’t get big from being stupid. They can be very tricky to get to bite, and once you do even harder to get to the boat, especially if there is structure or mangroves around. They know just where to go to take the advantage. We had had a couple of days with over 30 snook being caught. I also came across a lot of tiny snook 6 to 8 inches long. That is something I haven’t seen in a few years!!

The trout bite is picking up in my area of the bay. Not a lot of big fish but definitely the numbers are increasing. The trout are holding on the deeper grass flats and off the deeper oyster bars in the bay. Artificial jigs with a paddle tail have worked great. I went old school the other day and bought some popping corks. I have been netting a lot of very small pinfish and wanted to try floating them under the popping cork like we used to do as kids. That method still seems to work very well and we actually caught some bigger trout 18”-20” that way. It is such a fun way to fish.

The redfish bite has been steady, but unpredictable. One day you get them chummed up and they are firing off chasing and smashing white bait on the surface. The next day they seem to disappear and we are only pulling a handful out of the bushes. With the water levels rising and these bigger incoming tides. I have been pounding the mangroves trying to get the redfish to come out from hiding and shading themselves. Cut pinfish has worked well as well as just cutting off the tail and placing that bait as close to or under the mangroves as you can get.

The tarpon bite is in full swing off our coast and the fish are making their way into the bay. The residential fun sized tarpons are coming out of the creeks and staging up in a few areas. I look forward to when the smaller fry bait arrives.  These, smaller tarpon will gorge themselves on the small fry and abundance of glass minnows. I have just the right artificial lures to target them!!

Black drum are staging at the bridges and soaking a chunk of blue crab will almost always get eaten. These drum range from 15 to 50 pounds and are fun to try a wrestle from the pilings. The bay is heading in right direction for a wonderful fish filled summer. If you are looking for a Tampa Bay Fishing Charter, call now to book you trip! Fishing is fun!! 407-977-7650. Capt. Bucky Goldman

“Our group had a blast with Capt. Casey. The boat was comfortable and had plenty of room to accommodate our group of 5. Very knowedgable, very friendly and great fisherman. The redfish and trout where great for dinner.”
Richard P. from PA.
Happy Customer

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