Tampa Bay July Fishing Report
Tampa bay Tarpon fishing ended as a good season this year. We did battle some rough weather and lost a few days to the tropical storm but all in all I can't complain. It was a good Tarpon season and we caught a lot of fish, even on the roughest days, on my best trip we hooked 34 Tarpon. Those are all grown mature spawning size Tarpon from 70 to 200 pounds. The seas where churning that day & most people didn't even leave the dock. So I am proud to call that my best day for the 2012 Tarpon season. I had to work a little harder this year because of the weather but we made it all happen anyway. I think the most I landed in one day was 8, if I remember correctly, because I remember the guys arguing over whether they landed 7 or 8 and whose fish counted and whose didn't. Either way it was a lot of fish.
Tarpon are about done now. There are still a few fish in the bay and a handful on the beach, but it looks as though the peek migration has ended. The tropical storm seemed to scatter the fish and they never quite got reorganized after that. We had some good days after the storm but not like we would have had. I am sure there are still a few good days left up in the bay and if someone really wants a Tarpon we can still catch them, but nothing like it was a few weeks ago. We may get a good run back down the beach in September and October, sometimes it can get really good out there again that time of year.
Tampa fishing report at www.catpainmatt.com
This past week I spent a lot of time inshore. The Snook have been surprisingly good. I have been quite surprised to see as many nice fish around; we have been catching a lot of nice 30 inch fish mixed in with the smaller ones. It would be great if they never opened the season again. We would be catching multiple 40 inches on a daily bases in another 10 years and probably 100 a day.
The Redfishing has been good as well and is getting stronger. We have been catching lots of fish, nice keeper size fish in the 22 to 26 inch class. I also had a few days we got into some nice bull reds over 30 inches as well. The red fishing should be getting stronger as the month progresses.
We have been getting a few keeper Trout mixed in as well although I have not been spending a lot of time targeting them.
Offshore the Grouper have been biting real well. Farther out there are plenty of Reds and in closer lots of Gags. We caught some nice eating size Gags a little over 30 inches this past week. There are also plenty of Mackerel and False Albacore mixed in. As for big fish we spent one day fishing for Goliath Grouper last week. We had 5 on that we never turned on 200 pound test with 400 pound leader. Usually I can get a few out of the wreck, but not that day there was no turning them. That particular spot has several over 400 pounds, and probably 500 lbs plus.
Well I hope you have enjoyed my report, have fun fishing and stay cool.
Tampa Bay fishing report at www.captainmatt.com
About The Author: Captain Matt Ercoli
Company: Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters
Area Reporting: Tampa Bay to Sarasota Florida
Bio: Capt. Matt Ercoli is a premier Florida Gulf coast fishing guide and 1999 Saltwater Flats National Champion. He has assisted clients to five IGFA world records. Capt. Matt's experience and knowledge of local waters assures a successful day of fishing. Whether you prefer light tackle fishing or you're a fly-fishing purist, Capt. Matt can accommodate you. Fishing possibilities include the clear saltwater flats and mangrove backcountry from Tampa Bay & St. Petersburg to Sarasota; fishing for tarpon, snook, redfish and trout. If your preference is offshore fishing, there is permit, kingfish, grouper, little tunny, shark and more.