Tampa Bay Spring Fishing Is Red Hot
Well, I finally took a well deserved day-off the water; so I will take the opportunity to give everyone a quick report on how the fishing has been in these parts. It's tough to say what I have enjoyed more lately, the near perfect weather or the easy fishing. Actually the fishing has been so good it seems that I spend the whole day baiting hooks and taking fish off. Then all of a sudden the trip is over and I can't even count what we caught; I just know it's a lot of fish.
The inshore fishing has been great. Snook are definitely making a comeback faster than I thought. Now that doesn't by any means suggest they should reopen the season, but we have been having some very good days. Some of the better days we are catching 50 or maybe a few more. Mostly small 20 to 26 inch with a few larger ones up to 34 inches mixed in. Small or not they are a lot of fun, definitely one of our best sport fish.
The Redfish is equally good. I actually had a day on the fly last week where we caught near 20 in two and one half hours. They were absolutely just exploding on the fly; I can't even imagine what we would have caught on live bait. Most of the Reds right now are perfect slot fish ranging from 22 to 27 inches with the occasional fish under or over the slot.
Tampa fishing charters report at www.captainmatt.com
The Trout fishing has been very good. I am not getting as large ones as a month ago, but still there are plenty of keepers and when the bite is on it's as fast as you can reel them in.
Offshore fishing has also been very good. Kingfish have been the primary adversary. We have been catching them all day ranging from 10 to 35 pounds. Mixed in there is also plenty of Mackerel and hard fighting False Albacore. Grouper are also on fire; we have been catching the bigger ones on the high Kingfish lines so you just never know what you are going to hook next. Red Grouper have just come in season and we have been getting some nice keepers on the bottom rigs, most of the Grouper hitting the Kingfish lines are the large out-of season Gags, but they are still a lot of fun.
There is also some Cobia hanging around the wrecks and I have been getting a few nice size Mangrove Snapper. Maybe I will find some Permit this week.
Tampa bay fishing report at www.captainmatt.com
Resident Tarpon are also biting well up in the bay. Peak Tarpon season starts around May 1st. That is generally about the time the migration gets here and the Tarpon fishing gets really good.
I still have a few Tarpon days available if anyone is interested let me know. May 1st through about the 3rd week of July is peek. They may be a tad early this year though because of the early warm weather, we will see.
I hope everyone has enjoyed my report. Until next time have fun on the water.
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.