Tampa Bay Mid January Fishing Report
You really can't beat this weather. It looks as though our winter will have consisted of maybe 4 days this year. I just got done looking at the 10 day forecast and the weatherman is calling for mid 70s to low 80s for the next 10 days. The fishing is good now but it's really going to be rocking on the flats in a few more days. Really, with a few more warm days, we will be in full blow springtime fishing conditions. That means the Snook are going to start biting like crazy, the Red fishing on the shallow clear flats will get really good and the monster Trout that are already biting good will bite even better. Offshore fishing will explode early as well, not only will we be catching lots of Grouper and Snapper, but the pelagic fish like Kingfish, Permit, Tunny and Mackerel will heat up as well. It was only a week ago that I was still catching Kingfish. It's possible to see them shortly again with water temps rising.
This past week on the cold days we had some really good days on Redfish. No monsters, but a large majority of the Reds where keeper size up to 26 inches. Trout fishing has been really strong as well and should be getting better throughout the week. Yesterday almost all the Trout we caught where between 19 and 22 inches. Everywhere I go I see really nice Trout lying on the bottom from high above in my tower. It's going to be a really good year for Trout. Sheepshead are also starting to move into their spawning areas, I only spent a few hours fishing them this week, but they are biting as fast as you can drop a bait in the water.
As for Snook fishing, I have not spent any time fishing for them, but I think by mid next week the Snook bite will be pretty good with temperatures in the low 80s.
Offshore we have been catching loads of Grouper. A lot of nice gags up to 32 inches; although they are out of season they are fun to catch. As usual for this time of year the Red Grouper are thick as thieves, we have to weed through lots of shorts for a few keeps. The Snapper bite has also been pretty good and helping to fill the cooler.
So that's what going on for now, over all fishing is strong and should be stronger over the next week.
I hope you have enjoyed my report. I am filling my spring and Tarpon calendar, now is the time to figure out your dates if you want to get out fishing. Until next time, have a great week.
Capt. Matt Ercoli
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.