End of March Tampa Bay Report with pics

Fishing continues to be extremely good with the fish really chewing good over the past two weeks. Bait has finally started to showed up and has become pretty reliable with out having to spend all morning to get it. The snook fishing and the red fishing has been my main focus for the past week, and a lot of quality trophy size fish are being caught on recent trips.

Red fishing has been excellent over the past few weeks and should remain steady for the next few months. Most of the fish we have been catching have been top slot fish, with many fish over slot. Double and triple hook -ups have been pretty common on most trips and we have been averaging 12-20 fish on a four hour trip with many in the 28-34“ range. Live and dead bait have been working well. The higher tides have been more productive, but the low tides have been great for sight fishing trailers and waking schools of fish. I have spent most of my time working the bigger schools of fish on the higher tides with either live sardines or fresh cut bait like ladyfish or threadfins. The key to catching these fish has been a quite stealthy approach as the fish have been hit hard over the past month and patience has been key. Light leader and small hooks will also increase the hook up ratios.

The Snook fishing has been excellent as most of the fish are leaving the back waters and heading towards the beaches and pass to get ready to spawn. Live chumming has really helped with locating active fish. Live sardines have worked the best, but we have been getting a few on the flats on dead bait while fishing for redfish. Look for the snook to be moving out of the back waters and towards the inlets. As of lately we have been getting a lot of over slot snook in the 34-40” range. As for tackle I have been using 30-40lb leader and 1/0 circle hooks with live sardines either free-lined or fishing under a cork. If you are looking to get a trophy snook now is the time before they get hammered on the beaches.

Mackerel fishing has been great and the King mackerel have finally showed up off the beach. In the next week or so I will be on beach patrol fishing for both Spanish and Kings for almost the entire month of April. Look for the mackerel to be in the shipping channel, over wrecks and reefs and out on the hard bottom just off the beach. Trolling and anchoring are both effective methods to catch these fish, and once you find the large concentrations of baitfish the mackerel should be in the same area.

Sheephead fishing has slowed down, but Tarpon fishing is about to start heating up here shortly. On a recent trip this past week we ended up getting one Tarpon to the boat for a leader touch, and I will start fishing for them once April is here. So if you want to get out and do some Trophy snook fishing, early season Tarpon fishing or Kingfishing now is the time to book your trip.

Tight lines,

Capt.Jared Simonetti

[email protected]


  • Moken10Moken10 Posts: 292 Deckhand
    Good report man. Pretty slob snook!
  • SlamaholicSlamaholic Posts: 389 Officer
    Quality Fish
    Quality Performance Apparel, Realistic Prices.
  • NOTyourSPOTNOTyourSPOT Posts: 232 Officer
    Quality stuff. Good job! What area do you charter out of?
  • Tailn_redsTailn_reds Posts: 74 Deckhand
    Nice snook and reds
    Backcountry 201 completely restored/ 250 yamaha/ power poles/ minn Kota/ lowrance HDS
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,301 Admiral
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • BigTimeBigTime Posts: 608 Officer
    Looking good.

  • Capt.JaredCapt.Jared Posts: 164 Officer
    Thanks everyone for the positive feedback! NotyourSpot I charter out of both Pinellas and Hillsborough county, I keep my boat on the trailer and move around depending on the species I am targeting and the time of year.
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    Spectacular fish.
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • Generic9Generic9 Posts: 33 Greenhorn
    Great report! Thanks for sharing
  • Baja280Baja280 Posts: 440 Deckhand
    nice fish for sure!
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