Have been doing a little fishing, but not that much catching as of late. Made recent trips to the flat off of LCRB and to Terra Ceia twice with a trek to Joe's Bay on the most recent trip. Lots of small trout in Joe's Bay. It has been tough. No reds and mostly small trout and jacks. Did hook a Blue fish in Terra Ceia recently. A big shark chomped down on it and all I pulled in was the head. That was an experience. TC gets a lot of pressure and I am at a loss for where to find reds or snook around there. Also, went way back into Miguel Bay recently and no action other than some small trout.
Yesterday I launched out of CRB around 11:30am. It was dead low tide with the tide soon to be coming in. I headed down to just north of Port Manatee and let the wind blow me north back up the flat. Picked up an under-slot trout at 12:15pm on the 3" mullet in shadflash color. Thirty minutes later I picked up a another short trout on the spook jr. in bone near Piney Point. Not much action on the flat. Just a few mullet jumping. The wind was brisk and the floating grass was bad. Another small trout on the spook at 12:52pm. Lots of strikes from small trout on the spook throughout the day. Another small trout on the same lure at 1:07pm. Got a good strike from a fish that came out of the water to crush the spook. Turned out to be a decent snook of 23 1/2" caught at 1:11pm.
Went shallow, but too much grass nearer the bank so back out to some decent depth. Another small trout on the spook at 1:16pm. Switched back to the 3" shadflash and finally picked up a small red of 18 1/2" at 1:55pm. Two minutes later I caught a rat red just shy of 15". Went a long time without any strikes and worked a good school of mullet with no luck. Up to the first big pass south of the CRB channel and hooked an under-slot trout on the electric chicken at 3pm. Went inside that pass and had no strikes. Went across the CRB channel and began to float towards Big Pass.
Caught another under-slot trout on the 3" electric chicken at 3:44pm. Picked up a small jack on the same lure at 4:10pm. Worked the mouth of Big Pass but struggled. Went inside and finally picked up a small jack on the spook at 5pm. Worked around the mangroves on the south side in there. Heard big snook destroying bait back in the mangroves. There were a lot of mullet jumping out in the middle and heard/saw some predators among them. Started working the mullet school with the chicken and caught a nice little red of 20 1/4" at 5:20pm. Five minutes later I got a solid strike and set the hook. A decent snook rocketed out of the water. After a nice fight I got her in the boat. She measured 26". Kept working the school and got another good thump. It was another decent snook that put on a great aerial display. Got her in the boat at 5:30pm and she was just shy of 26". This was getting good.
Kept drifting north in there. Lots of swirls, mullet jumping etc. Ten minutes later I hooked into another fish on the same lure. Turned out to be a decent 21 1'2" redfish caught on the same color. Saw a fish working an area. Threw over and got nailed. Turned out the be a nice jack of 14 1/2" caught at 5:46pm. The wind had picked up and a clouds were rolling in. A smaller jack at 5:50pm. His brother at 6:06pm. Caught a little bit bigger jack at 6:24pm. Circled around and worked some of the same area again, but to no avail. By now it was almost dark so I headed for the ramp. At the ramp, the heavens opened up and I got drenched. Other than that, it was a pretty good day, especially the last part of the day in Big Pass.
Final Body Count:
6 under-slot trout
4 reds (14.5" - 21.5")
3 snook (23.5" - 26")
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Nice report Dave. I have been thinking it has to be getting soon for the flats to become wastelands and the backwaters to turn on. I cant wait for the colder weather and river fishing. Not looking forward to the Skyway runs for bait though. How you been? Are you liking the new boat?