.Redfish are running everywhere. Trout are running everywhere. The Spanish Mackeral are starting to show. Everything is just about to happen. But, were still waiting! Waiting for our water temps to get right. Our spring bite should be in full swing, but with water temps still in the mid 60’s the fish are still not very settled in and getting comfortable. I got some great reports ofRedfish schools actually eating baits up around Weedon Island and on the 4th street flats as well. I managed to find a few of my favorite deep water docks that were holding fish that would actually bite. Live shrimp tail hooked with a ¼ ounce split shot up the line about a foot was the ticket. Patience was the key as was the moving water.
The Black Drum circus is still in full swing as the giant herds have not yet grown tired of all the boat pressure. Live select or jumbo shrimp are the best bet with Capt. Woody Gore reporting they’ve taken a liking to 4 inch Berkley Gulp Shrimp in New Penny. There are 3 or 4 big schools of these awesome fish around the mouth of Tampa Bay so there’s no need to all fish the same school.
The Trout bite also remains fairly steady with good numbers of 14 to 17 inch fish. Drifting the flats with DOA CAL jigs is producing my best results. White with a chartreuse jig head has been the combo of choice for me. A ¼ ounce jig head is key as most of the bigger fish are coming out of 5 feet of water or more.
Catch Capt. Michael Anderson and Capt. Billy Nobles every Saturday morning on News CH8 at 6:30am and Sundays at 11:00am for the Reel Animals Fishing Show and Saturdays for Reel Animals Saturday on 970WFLA from 6:00am to 9:00am and Sunday mornings on AM620 for the TA Mahoney Co. Reel Animals Radio Show from 7am to 9am or to book a trip call 1-866-Gamefish.
The weather forecast for the weekend and next week is what we have been looking for for a long time. Temps are supposed to reach the upper seventies. I can’t wait. The fishing this week was on fire until Thursday with the strong northwest winds. There are schools of drum in every color, size, and shape in the bay. I know that may confuse you so let me explain. There are schools of black drum to 55 pounds on the flats and what a blast on light tackle. They will take live shrimp, or crabs but the jig has been crushing them. Then there are red drum, aka redfish, everywhere but the word is they aren’t happy quite yet. I think with the warmer weather coming they should be ready to fire off at any moment. Then there’s the third drum, which I only learned a few years ago was a drum, and that is my friends a speckled trout. Go figure. We have had great success with these using the Berkley Gulp baits, the D.O.A. CAL jigs, and their Deadly Combo as well as a free lined live shrimp.
Offshore, Captain Larry McGuire reports plenty of legal sized catch and release grouper, mangrove snapper, and Key West grunts. Out past 100 feet there are plenty of amberjack to be had. The birds and the bait are really starting to show which tells us the king mackerel can’t be far behind.
Be sure to catch us on Saturday mornings @ 6:30 for The Reel Animals Fishing Show on WFLA News Channel 8 and call Captain Mike on WFLA 970 AM Saturday mornings for Reel Animal Saturday’s and call us all on Sunday’s on WDAE 620 The Sports Animal from 7-9am to win some fish gear of your own. Also visit us on the web and post your reports www.reelanimalsfishingteam.com and until next week, “Do yourself a favor and take a kid fishin’.”
This week has brought reports from way down south all the way north redfish, trout and snook are on the move. We have had several reports of large schools of redfish are here. There are schools numbering up to 500 individuals per school in the bay area. The trout are everywhere and the snook are poking their heads out. Looks like things are back to normal and from the reports the catching is phenomenal.
Mike and I spent this week over in Stuart, Florida with Captain, inventor/mad scientist Mark Nichols of D.O.A. Lures. On Tuesday we went out with Capt. Jim Ross looking for cobia on the Manta Rays. People I had never seen a Manta up close but the look like a nuclear sub just under the surface. The biggest one we saw had to be pushing three thousand pounds, yes three zero zero zero pounds and as big as my F-250 Truck. We saw a few small cobia but no takers. The next day we were with the man himself, Mark Nichols. The task was to shoot three shows in one day. The most we had ever done was two and it wasn’t easy. In the first hour we had the first show done with tons of pompano and jacks. Then just a short 300 yard boat ride for show number two. In just two hours we had plenty of good size by Florida standards, bluefish, redfish to 25” 6 of them, and 4 just under sized snook. Next a two mile boat ride and show number three. One this one trout was the target and I must say Capt Mike and Jerry put on a clinic just spanking Mark and I. In just over an hour done with a bakers dozen of trout in the 18-20” range. Not the ten pounder we were looking for but with a 25 knot wind not too shabby, not too shabby at all. Bear in mind that all of the fish that were caught were all on D.O.A. products from just the pinch weight for the pompano, C.A.L.’s for the reds and snook, and even the world famous original D.O.A. shrimp for the trout. What a day and all I want to do is say thank you again Mark Nichols for another wonderful day on the water.
Be sure to catch us on Saturday mornings on The Reel Animals Fishing Show at 6:30 am on NBC Channel 8, Reel Animal Saturdays with Captain Mike from 6-9 am on 970 AM and Sunday’s from 7-9am on 620 AM WDAE for The Reel Animals Fishing Show and call in a give your reports and questions. Until next week do yourself a favor and take a kid fishin’.
This past week has been anything but fishy! High winds, rain and cold temps lead to very poor fishing conditions although some die hards are claiming to have done fairly well at the power plant out flows. Cobia, Black tip sharks, Lady fish and Trout were caught by those crazy enough to go. For those of us who chose to get our chores done it looks like relief is on the way. There is a warm up in the forecast and just in time. They are calling for an entire week of weather in the 70’s which could really turn things loose. The big Trout will get very active 3 to 4 feet of water. They have eaten the minimum for survival for months now and should really come alive with a warm up. The Redfish schools that poured in on this past moon phase should also start to get acclimated to the shallows and start more of a normal feeding pattern.
There is also some great opportunities to catch some big Sheepshead as they also seemed to pour onto the flats with this past moon. Again some slightly warmer water temps will get these guys to fire off as well.A shrimp on a #1 hook with a small split shot about 15 inches up the leader will work great for these fish.
A warming trend should also drive some of our bait back to the bridges and piers and out of deep water. With more bait moving around the bay things will get right and we can put this crazy winter behind us for good!
Catch Capt. Michael Anderson and Capt. Billy Nobles every Saturday morning on News CH8 at 6:30am and on AM970 for Reel Animals Saturday from 6:00am to 9:00am and Sunday mornings on AM620 for the TA Mahoney Co. Reel Animals Radio Show from 7am to 9am or to book a trip call 1-866-Gamefish.