Cobia have started to show up at the mouth of Tampa Bay to just inside the Skyway Bridge in decent numbers to where I think we are going to have a great cobia year. On back to back trips we were able to catch four while sight casting to them. Pinfish or scaled sardines under a popping cork is a deadly combo for these brown bombers. They fight great especially the second time after they see the boat. Look for these fish to be around reefs, bridge pilings channel markers and similar structure.My clients have been able to experience sight casting to these beasts while catching them on top water plugs and live bait. Here is Rich with his cobia caught on 10lb stealth braid on a 7'6" flats pole and his girlfriend Makell who caught hers on a 30lb outfit fishing a pinfish under a cork at the end of last week.
Redfish are schooled up in the usual places around Fort Desoto, Tierra Verde and the South Shore areas. Live baits like shrimp, scaled sardines and threadfins will all work but if they are being finicky or spooky use the same baits as cut bait along with cut up lady fish or pinfish which will cast further from the boat and give you an advantage.
Trout have been very consistent in the deeper water from 4-8 feet deep. Look for a good shell and grass bottom mix that is where I have been finding good quantities along with nice sized ones ranging from 17-22 inches. Scaled sardines and small threadfins have been the ticket with live shrimp and artificials also working.
Darra with a nice speckled trout.
Capt. George Hastick fishes the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay area. If you would like more information or would like to book a charter please contact him at:
Capt. George Hastick
"The Fish Hunter"