Tampa Bay provides sanctuary for inshore fish, action for anglers

Tampa Bay provides sanctuary for inshore fish, action for anglers

Fishing north of Anna Maria Island proves to be excellent despite red tide slowly creeping up on us from the south.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t come into Tampa Bay — invading the last sanctuary for our inshore fish such as snook, redfish and trout.

While fishing Tampa Bay, I’m seeing numerous catch-and-release snook being reeled to my boat. On some mornings, catches of 30-40 fish are not unheard of. Mixed in with the snook are catch-and-release redfish, although they are sparse.

Moving to deeper grass areas is yielding plenty of spotted seatrout although most are just under the minimum size limit of 15 inches. Fishing structure in Tampa Bay is producing action — especially on mangrove snapper and gag grouper.

Bottom fishing with live shiners is producing the snapper, while using live pinfish is best for the grouper.

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