Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tampa Bay Fishing Report 5-5-2010

May Tampa Fishing Report
Tuesday, 04 May 2010
Written by Stewart Ames

May is prime time for West Central Florida Fishing. No month offers a broader range of species. Inshore, snook, redfish and trout are readily available. This year, snook are a little bit in question due to the brutal winter but fish will certainly appear along our beaches this month. No one is sure if snook numbers will be down significantly or not. It's just a wait and see situation. Near shore, kingfish, Spanish mackerel and bonita are sure to be feeding on bait schools that are now in residence. Other less common catches like cobia and tripletail are also cruising relatively shallow waters as well.

woman with big seatrout

Seatrout ate well in April. As is typical, many of the season's larger specimens were caught over the last month. The local 0428laurajenniferredfishtroutspoil islands continued to produce fish but this is changing right now. These larger winter fish are about to start heading for their summer homes. They will leave the spoil islands and take up residence in deeper swash channels along local beaches for 30 days or so. Then, they'll head north and west...not to be heard from again until next November. That is not to say that larger trout can't be caught during the summer months, but the numbers of larger fish available is small when compared to the winter fishery. Using live whitebait is the best approach for catching these remaining quality fish. Simply cast these baits, with no weight, into your target area and let them swim freely. No hungry trout will be able to resist this free lunch.

redfish and trout

mans nice redfish

Once water temperatures climb above seventy degrees, the many redfish we have been seeing over the last few months get serious about eating. Most trips in later April averaged about 6 fish per trip...some higher...some lower, but almost all fish were 5 to 10 lbs. Redfish are now eating a broad variety of cut and live baits. It's less about what bait to use and more about finding them as they 0426stevelredfsihwill usually eat once you get in the right neighborhood. If the fish are out in an open flat, bobbering a live pinfish or whitebait is an excellent choice as the bait will cover more area. If fishing docks or mangrove shorelines, a good sized split shot is recommended to keep your bait right where you throw it. Cut bait is very effective when fishing these two types of structure as it allows for very accurate casting. Also, a big chunk of pinfish, mackerel...or whatever you prefer to use...can tolerate a lot of pinfish activity before coming off the hook, which is important as it is best to leave baits in an area for a minimum of several minutes. Redfish will cruise around looking for dinner so a bait that can sit for 5 or 10 minutes has a much better chance of being found and eaten.

man with snook

king mackerel

0417fredssnookRumors of snook showing up locally are now starting to surface. Occasional fish are being seen and one small fish was caught a few weeks ago. Until fish are confirmed to be here in greater numbers, they will not be targeted. Having said that, our recent blast of very warm weather will likely bring fish holding in our offshore waters up on to our beaches so it's probably time to start checking familiar snook hangouts to see if they are where they should be. On the bright side, fish are now being caught in the bay so we know that we will have a fishery this year....again it's just the overall number of fish that will be in question.
Kingfish went "off'" for a few days during the last week in April but then the wind came up and blew things out. Although it's 0423steveekingfishsafe to say that there are fish available further offshore, a good near shore bite should pick back up once our east winds return. Kingfish, and the bait they pursue, don't really like muddy water and these east winds will clear the waters in close. Spanish mackerel are now being caught in along the spoil islands with some regularity, indicating that there are plenty around. Fishing for these smaller speedsters will also improve on the east winds. To conclude, there are a multitude of fishing opportunities right now. If you are interested in getting on the water, simply call (727) 421-5291. There are good late May and June dates still available. Good luck and good fishing.

Captain Stewart Ames
Gone Fishing Charters

US Coast Guard Licensed Captain
Member Florida Guides Association
(727) 421-5291

Last Updated (Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:49)

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